Letters to the Administration: Letter to President Biden to Extend the Payment Pause

View or download a PDF of the letter here.

President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20500 

November 21, 2022 

Dear Mr. President, 

We thank you for taking historic action to tackle the student debt crisis in our country and promising life-changing relief to millions of federal student loan borrowers. In just over one month, more than 26 million borrowers have applied for student loan debt relieffurther evidence of the crushing burden this debt has had on workers and families from all walks of life and the promise debt cancellation will have for millions seeking an economic fresh start. 

But in mid November, a Trump-appointed judge in Texas, followed by a panel of Republican appointed judges in Missouri blocked that critical debt relief. As a result, millions of borrowers—including 16 million whose applications have already been processed and approvedremain stranded in economic limbo. We applaud your Administration’s commitment to fighting against these lawsuits and immediately appealing these decisions. 

In fewer than 45 days, as tens of millions of student loan borrowers remain closer than ever to historic debt relief, student loan payments are set to resume for the first time in nearly three years. This threatens to set borrowers back financially as our country grapples with the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as our economy continues to experience the highest level of inflation in nearly four decades, and as government regulators sound alarms on rising levels of borrower distress. We, the undersigned 225 organizations, urge you to immediately extend the payment pause until your Administration is able to fully implement debt relief for all eligible borrowers and to continue to use every legal authority at your disposal to make this relief real. 

At the same time that student loan borrowers are facing financial catastrophe, a growing body of evidence shows that the companies contracted by the Department to assist borrowers in enrolling in the existing set of affordable repayment plans and navigating other student loan discharge options remain woefully unprepared for payments to resume.1It is important to remember that these borrowers have student debt because the cost of college, a critical pathway to the middle class, has spiraled out of control. They also have this debt because past administrations routinely broke their promises to deliver affordable loan payments and debt relief. These borrowers deserve more than another broken promise. 

The cost of yet another broken promise to people with student debt will be immense. Just two weeks ago, a new generation of voters were mobilized and driven to the polls in part by the momentum from your promise to deliver on student debt. We urge you to use every legal tool in the government’s toolbox in order to keep their faith in government and show them that, despite the threats to it, our democracy is capable of listening to their concerns and meeting their needs. 

As you explained to the American people when you announced your intent to restart student loan payments in January 2023, your Administration’s monumental debt relief plan is a necessary first step to protect borrowers and prevent disastrous loan defaults and other financial distress, particularly in light of the ongoing economic challenges facing our nation as a result of the pandemic. 

We cannot allow these blatantly political lawsuits to throw millions of borrowers into financial catastrophe. Throwing millions of borrowers back into repayment as the state of debt relief remains uncertain is a recipe for disaster and will result in widespread confusion and set borrowers up for failure. 

We strongly urge you to extend the pause on student loan payments and continue to use every legal authority at your disposal to fight to ensure that borrowers receive the debt relief they need. We look forward to supporting your Administration as you take this necessary action and work to deliver on the promises made to student loan borrowers across the country. 


National Organizations 

1000 Woman Strong 



Adasina Social Capital 

Agricultural Justice Project 

Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, Inc. 

Alliance for Youth Action 

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine 

American Association of University Professors 

American Association of University Women 

American Civil Liberties Union 

American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO 

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) American Federation of Teachers 

American Library Association 

American Psychological Association 

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) 

Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund 

Association of Young Americans (AYA) 

Better Organizing to Win Legalization 

Center for American Progress 

Center for Responsible Lending 

Clean Energy Action 

Clinical Social Work Association 

Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU 


Community Food and Justice Coalition 

Consumer Action 

Consumer Federation of America 

Consumer Reports 

Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety 

Debt Collective 

Demand Progress 

Dream Defenders 

Family Values @ Work 

Formerly Incarcerated College Graduates Network 

HEAL Food Alliance 

Hempstead Project Heart 

Hispanic Federation 

Hunger Free America 

Inclusive America 


International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) LCLAA 

League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) 

Legal Aid at Work 


Minority Veterans of America 

MPower Change Action Fund 

Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) 


National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners 

National Association of Social Workers 

National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients) National Consumers League 

National Education Association 

National Employment Law Project 

National League for Nursing 

National Nurses United 

National Urban League 

National Young Farmers Coalition 

NTEU Independent Staff Union 

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates 

P Street/PCCC 


Passengers United 

Pay Our Interns 

People’s Parity Project 

Poligon Education Fund 

Poverty Project at the Inst. for Policy Studies 


Public Citizen 

Public Counsel 

Public Good Law Center 

Rise, Inc.


Rural Coalition 

School Social Work Association of America 

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 

Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill 

Student Borrower Protection Center 

Student Debt Crisis Center 

Students First Consulting 

Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice 

The Common Market 

The Education Trust 

The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) The Revolving Door Project 

The Wallace Center 

The Young Invincibles 


United Church of Christ, Justice and Local Church Ministries United Food and Commercial Workers International Union University of California Student Association 

Voices for Progress 

We the 45M 

State & Local Organizations 

AFGE Local 252 

AFGE Local 3354 

AFGE Local 704 



Alabama State Association of Cooperatives 

Arizona Students’ Association 

Arkansas Community Organizations 

Associated Students at the University of California, Santa Barbara California Asset Building Coalition 

CAMEO – California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity CASH Campaign of Maryland 

Center for Economic Integrity 

CFPB Union NTEU 335 

Chicago Foundation for Women 

Civil Service Bar Association 

CO Dem Party – Energy and Environmental Initiative College & Community Fellowship 

College Democrats of New York 

Community Health Councils (CHC) 

Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (Delaware) 

Community Service Society of NY 

Compañeras Campesinas 

Consumer Federation of California 

Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, Inc. Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath)

Empower Our Future 

Farm to Table – New Mexico 

Farmers On the Move. 

Fertile Ground 

Hawaii State Teachers Association 

Hildreth Institute 

Housing and Economic Rights Advocates 

Illinois Stewardship Alliance 


Iowa CCI 

La Raza Centro Legal 

Louisiana Budget Project 


Maine Center for Economic Policy 

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association 

Maryland Center for Collegiate Financial Wellness 

Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition 

Michigan Food and Farming Systems 

Missouri Jobs with Justice 

Mobilization for Justice 

Montgomery County MD Branch NAACP 

Mountain State Justice, Inc. 

NAACP Baltimore 

NAACP Calvert County Branch Youth Council 


National Association of Social Workers – Alabama Chapter National Association of Social Workers – California Chapter National Association of Social Workers – Colorado Chapter 

National Association of Social Workers – Connecticut Chapter National Association of Social Workers – Florida & Virgin Islands Chapter National Association of Social Workers – Georgia Chapter National Association of Social Workers – Guam Chapter National Association of Social Workers – Idaho Chapter National Association of Social Workers – Indiana Chapter National Association of Social Workers – Iowa Chapter 

National Association of Social Workers – Kentucky Chapter National Association of Social Workers – Maine Chapter National Association of Social Workers – Massachusetts Chapter National Association of Social Workers – Michigan Chapter National Association of Social Workers – Minnesota Chapter National Association of Social Workers – Mississippi Chapter National Association of Social Workers – Nebraska Chapter National Association of Social Workers – Nevada Chapter National Association of Social Workers – New Hampshire Chapter National Association of Social Workers – New Jersey Chapter National Association of Social Workers – New York City Chapter National Association of Social Workers – New York State Chapter National Association of Social Workers – North Carolina Chapter National Association of Social Workers – Ohio Chapter 

National Association of Social Workers – Oregon Chapter National Association of Social Workers – Tennessee Chapter

National Association of Social Workers – Texas Chapter 

National Association of Social Workers – Vermont Chapter 

National Association of Social Workers – Washington Chapter 

National Association of Social Workers – West Virginia Chapter 

NC Climate Justice Collective 

New Era Colorado 

New Jersey Citizen Action 

New Jersey Institute for Social Justice 

NextGen California 


Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire (NOFA-NH) Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) 

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group 

Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides 

Northwest Consumer Law Center 

OCA Greater Chicago 

OCA Greater Cleveland – Asian Pacific American Advocates 

Ohio Student Association 

Oregon Student Association 

Pennsylvania Council of Churches 

Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM) 

Public Justice Center 

Public Law Center 

Quiet Creek Herb Farm & School of Country Living 

RAISE Texas 

Rural Advancement Fund of the National Sharecroppers Fund, Inc. 

Rutgers University Student Assembly 

SEIU 509 

SEIU Local 500 

South Dakota Chapter of NASW 

Student Association of Syracuse University & SUNY-ESF 

Student Loan Fund Inc. 

Students United 

Suncoast NORML 

Texas Coalition of Rural Landowners 

Texas Mexico Border Coalition Community Based Organization 

The Farmworker Association of Florida 

The Foundation for Delaware County – Housing Opportunities Program for Equity (HOPE) The Land Connection 


United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 

United Students Labor Action Coalition (USLAC at UCR) 

University Council – American Federation of Teachers 

University of Rochester Students’ Association 

Urban Tilth 

UT Student Government Assembly Board 

Virginia Poverty Law Center 

West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition 

World Farmers Inc 

Xavier University of Louisiana Student Government Association 

Zero Debt Massachusetts