There was likely a collective sigh of relief among millions of federal student loan borrowers in early August 2020 when the president directed the US Secretary of Education to extend student loan relief until December 31, 2020.
On March 27, 2020, Congress passed, and the president signed into law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act). This $2 trillion aid package aimed at providing economic relief to Americans due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Included in that package was the automatic suspension of monthly payments and reduction of interest rates to 0 percent for six months on federally held student loans. On August 8, 2020, a Presidential Memorandum directed the US Department of Education to extend student loan relief past the original September 30, 2020, expiration date until the end of the year.