From the Summary: "Title IV of 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. As of September 30, 2021, $1.6 trillion in loans from these programs, borrowed by or on behalf of 43.4 million individuals, remained outstanding. In response to the current COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic, numerous questions have arisen regarding student loan repayment flexibilities and debt relief that may be available to individuals to alleviate potential financial effects related to COVID-19."
CRS Report for Congress, R46314
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/