DeVos extends the loan break
MORGANTOWN – Education Secretary Betsy Devos has extended the moratorium on student loans until January 31, 2021 – exactly one month after the date it was originally scheduled to end.
The moratorium on student loans, enacted in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was previously scheduled to end on December 31.
Those affected by the resumption of student loan repayments have expressed concern and frustration with the situation despite the one month extension of the loan forbearance.
Madison Stout, who attended Alderson Broaddus University, said the reinstatement of student loan repayments in addition to the costs of supporting her toddler son had caused anxiety.
“[The student loan moratorium] gave a little bit of a break to try to stay afloat, especially after we had our son in September and a good chunk of my maternity leave was unpaid, ”Stout said.
Stout said the COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty regarding daily life, employment and child care for his son. The reinstatement of federal student loan payments adds to the uncertainty of her family’s financial situation.
“… It’s unclear if there will be a month when we just don’t have all the money we need to go in all directions,” Stout said.
During his campaign, President-elect Joe Biden laid out his administration’s plan for canceling student loans. Biden said $ 10,000 in student debt would be forgiven for all borrowers. For those who have attended public colleges or minority-run universities and earn less than $ 125,000 a year, Biden intends to write off the rest of their debt even after the initial $ 10,000.
Joshua Coombs, a 2008 graduate of Fairmont State University, said he has racked up $ 18,000 in student debt and is still making payments of $ 288 per month. Coombs expressed his gratitude for his stable financial situation through stable employment.
“But if I were to lose my job, I would have financial problems,” Coombs said.
Coombs also addressed Biden’s student loan cancellation plan.
“[I know] he wants to forgive up to $ 10,000 per person, and I think that would be a good start, ”Coombs said.
Chelsea Terrell attended Mount Holyoke College and Duke University, although she only accrued student debt from Duke – totaling around $ 14,000. Her husband’s debt gives them a student debt of $ 37,000.
Terrell said the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in his family’s income being cut in half. Had she been responsible for paying off student loans, Terrell said her family would have been forced to apply for unemployment benefits or other federal help.
“Since our income is back to what it was before COVID, this will not put financial pressure on my family,” Terrell said of the reinstatement of federal student loan repayments. “However, late payments [further] would allow us to replenish our savings, which would greatly reduce our stress.
Jacqueline Hellen, deputy director of the Mountaineer Hub at the University of West Virginia, said that while it is widely believed that graduate students will be affected by the resumption of student loan repayments, this is not the case.
“The moratorium on student loans basically… ended, they call it an administrative forbearance, for all students who were already in repayment, which includes all students who were not present, all students who had less than half federal student loans. -time… or students who have already graduated, ”Hellen said.
Hellen said students who are in school at least part-time (with 6 or more credit hours per semester) are considered automatic course deferrals when it comes to student loan repayment, which means that as long as they are enrolled as a student at a university, they do not have to start the loan repayment process.
“So if you’re already in school, you’re a current student, that didn’t affect you in the first place,” Hellen said.
Andrew Pentis, editor-in-chief at Student loan hero and Certified Student Loan Advisor, said Student Loan Hero estimates that about 22 million Americans will have to resume student loan payments after Jan.31.
“A lot of people who haven’t kept up to date on their student loan repayment, they will need to take steps to make sure they can have a good ramp to resume their repayment,” Pentis said.
He said federal student loan borrowers should contact their federal loan officers to learn about options regarding their student loan repayment, including the ability to enroll in payment plans that could reduce monthly payments, or to request postponements or additional abstentions.