LANGHORNE, PA – Today, April 10th, Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) and Josh Harder (CA-10) introduced the bipartisan COVID-19 Graduate Relief Act, with six other cosponsors, to allow 2020 college graduates to defer their student loans for three years. The Coronavirus has sent the U.S. job market into a tailspin - last month, the U.S. lost over 700,000 jobs – and this bill will help support recent graduates until the economy rebounds.

“In these uncertain times, jobs are down and students are learning through video conferences. Graduating from college, looking for a job, and paying off student loans are stressful enough, and we need to do what we can to help students succeed,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “By allowing this year’s graduates to defer their student loan payments for up to three years, our bipartisan legislation will allow them to enter the job market and give them one less thing to worry about.”

“I graduated in the middle of the Great Recession, and I saw tons of my friends struggle to find a job – college grads this year are stepping into the same climate and they need a hand,” said Rep. Harder. “We’ve got to make long-term fixes to our student loan program, but this is a straightforward, bipartisan proposal that can bring recent grads relief right now.”

“During this global pandemic, it is especially critical we equip our graduates with the necessary resources to be resilient,” said Stanislaus State University President Ellen Junn. “This bill would provide financial relief to our students who will soon be graduating, allowing them to focus on their personal health and safety as well as their families and communities.”

The COVID-19 Graduate Relief Act would allow any student who graduates college during the 2020 calendar year to defer their loans for three years. Depending on the length of the Coronavirus pandemic and related economic turmoil, the Secretary of Education has the discretion to extend eligibility for this deferment to graduates in 2021 and 2022.

Companion legislation to the COVID-19 Graduate Relief Act has been introduced by Senator Mitt Romney.