Borrowers have not had to make payments since March, but the relief was due to expire on December 31. DeVos also extended the pause on interest accrual, as well as the suspension of collections on defaulted loans.
A broader version of student loan relief was included in the $2 trillion economic stimulus package signed two weeks later. Under this program, the US government has automatically suspended payments and waived interest on federal student loans until September. Trump then moved the expiration date to the end of the year through executive action.
The interest suspension and relief only applies to loans held by the federal government. This covers approximately 85% of all federal student loans, including those known as direct federal loans and PLUS loans that parents can take out on behalf of their children.
It excludes certain federal loans that are guaranteed by the government but technically not owned by it. Generally, these were disbursed before 2010.
Although borrowers do not have to make any payments until January 31, they will still be able to do so and benefit from the 0% interest rate.