Biden Student Loan Pause Led Borrowers To Go Deeper Into Debt, Study Finds

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June 14, 2023

Student loan freezes under the Trump and Biden administrations have created even more debt for borrowers, according to a University of Chicago study published last month.

The study, which analyzed the student loan pause first instituted by Donald Trump and then expanded by Joe Biden, found that borrowers' debt from private lenders increased when the government froze its loan payments.

"Borrowers used the new liquidity to increase borrowing on credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans," the study found.

That study came out the same month Biden agreed to end the loan freeze as part of his debt ceiling deal with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.). Biden this month signed the deal, which also prevents him from issuing any more extensions on the pause. The president had already extended the freeze eight times.

The fate of Biden's possibly unconstitutional scheme to cancel $430 billion in student debt, meanwhile, is up to the Supreme Court, which is expected to release its ruling soon. During questioning, justices were skeptical that the president had authority to enact the plan, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

The University of Chicago study is in line with an October survey that found borrowers are "likely to spend their student loan bailout funds on 'non-essentials, including vacations, smartphone[s], [and] drugs/alcohol,'" the College Fix reported.

Interest on federal student loans will restart on September 1, the Biden administration announced Monday, with payments due starting in October.