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As student loan repayments are set to restart, the Education Department looks to ease the transition

The Department of Education just announced that for the first year after payments restart, borrowers who fall behind won’t be penalized.

More than 43 million people have federal student loans and most haven’t had to pay them since the spring of 2020.

“We’ve taken all these people that were in the habit of making their payment out of the habit,” said Betsy Mayotte at the nonprofit Institute of Student Loan Advisors. She says that’s one reason she’s been concerned that the number of people who go into delinquency or default might spike when payments restart.