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Student loan repayments on hold again, tips for the 90-day extension

Tips for students as loan repayments deferred another 90 days
Updated: Dec. 28, 2021 at 5:58 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Millions of people across the country are still struggling with the ongoing threat of the pandemic, many of whom are student loan borrowers.

Last week, President Joe Biden extended the date where the repayments would begin from Feb 1 to May 1, 2022. The announcement served as an early Christmas gift for student loan borrowers like Julius Smith. Between his undergrad and post-graduate schooling, he’s still figuring out how to take care of $20,000 to $30,000 worth of loans.

“I appreciate it and it was very convenient, considering the last year and a half of pandemic, crisis living. It just makes things easier,” said Smith.

There’s no denying the financial benefits of the 90-day delay, especially amid rising inflation, with bills to pay, and families to feed.

“We know a number of people are in financial stress and making these payments will be a challenge for them, especially after all that time they haven’t had to make them,” explained Attorney General Josh Stein.

The attorney general adds borrowers have the benefit of time right now, urging people to use the weeks before the payments resume to make sure their contact information is up to date on studentaid.gov, and ensuring they’re on the right repayment plan.

Stein has fought to include people like farmers in the public service loan forgiveness programs and says it’s anyone’s guess if other occupations could anticipate seeing loan forgiveness in the future.

“There have been discussions with the federal government about different types of debt relief programs and the Biden administration is considering a number of options at this moment,” added Stein.

Until the president announces those changes, people like Smith are left to dream of the day the loans are either paid off or gone for good.

“It’s a hopeful thought. I don’t have a guarantee. Once I have things figured out as far as income, increase in the income, and lessening my expenditures, then I’ll have more hope; but right now, it’s just a little glimmer of hope,” said Smith.

If you’re wondering if you’re on the right plan, you can use the federal government’s loan simulator tool here or reach out directly to the Department of Education for help with a payment plan.

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