Without elaborating on its authority for doing so, the Department of Education recently announced the extension, through January 31, 2021, of certain pandemic-related benefits for federal student loan borrowers.

In particular, the administrative forbearance period, the 0% interest rate (pause in interest accrual), and the suspension of administrative wage garnishment and other collection activity will all remain in effect.  As a result, borrowers who have federal student loans will not have to make any payments until February of next year, although they may still do so if they wish.  These “non-payments” will still count towards the number of payments required under an income driven repayment plan, as part of a loan rehabilitation agreement, or for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.