Federal Student Loan Debt Relief in the Context of COVID-19 [Updated September 17, 2021] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Introduction: "The Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA; P.L. 89-329, as amended) authorizes the operation of three federal student loan programs: the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) program, the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program, and the Federal Perkins Loan program. While new loans are currently authorized to be made only through the Direct Loan program, previously made FFEL and Perkins Loan program loans remain outstanding and borrowers of such loans remain responsible for repaying them. [...] This report provides an overview of student loan repayment flexibilities and debt relief provisions that may be available to borrowers facing financial difficulties resulting from the pandemic. It first lists some preexisting loan terms and conditions (authorized through statute and regulations) that may be available to individuals. It then discusses specific administrative and congressional actions taken to address student loan debt in the context of COVID-19. The report concludes with a brief description of additional existing authorities that could be utilized to address other aspects of student loan relief."
CRS Report for Congress, R46314
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/