Student Loan Payment Moratorium Extension Would Be Popular With Voters
As the Biden administration considers whether to continue the coronavirus-related suspension of most payments for federal student loans, a new Morning Consult/Politico survey found that half of the voting public would support the move, while far fewer say it should be a top priority for Congress to step in.
Half of Voters Say Student Loan Payment Suspension Should Be Extended
What the data says
- Half of voters support extending the suspension of monthly payments and interest for federal student loans beyond its current expiration date in early May, while a third would oppose the move.
- Extending the suspension is backed by 67 percent of Democrats and a 47 percent plurality of independents, while 49 percent of Republicans are against it.
- Over half of voters under the age of 45 support such an extension, compared with 48 percent of 45- to 64-year-olds and 42 percent of voters ages 65 or older who would like to see the loan suspension extended.
Politico reported last week that the Department of Education had instructed companies that service federal student loans to hold off on sending notices to borrowers that their payments will restart after the moratorium passes on May 1. That was taken as a sign that the Biden administration might extend the payment freeze for millions of borrowers, though the White House hasn’t weighed in.
Many progressives have argued the move could galvanize young people, particularly liberals, on behalf of President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party. Previous surveys have shown he needs all the help he can get with that group, who are far less enthusiastic about the midterms than their older peers.
Still, the issue is far from top of mind for the overall electorate, especially when it comes to action from Congress. According to the latest survey, 21 percent of voters said passing a bill to provide relief to Americans with student loan debt should be a “top priority” for Congress, ranking near the bottom of 12 policy priorities alongside marijuana legalization, regulation of tech companies and elimination of the Senate filibuster for legislation.
The latest Morning Consult/Politico survey was conducted March 11-14, 2022, among a representative sample of 2,005 registered U.S. voters, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Eli Yokley is Morning Consult’s U.S. politics analyst. Prior to his current role, Eli was Morning Consult’s senior reporter covering U.S. politics. Eli joined Morning Consult in 2016 from Roll Call, where he reported on House and Senate campaigns after five years of covering state-level politics in the Show Me State while studying at the University of Missouri in Columbia, including contributions to The New York Times, Politico and The Daily Beast. Follow him on Twitter @eyokley. Interested in connecting with Eli to discuss his analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].