Lafayette - Student loan borrowers may get more time before having to resume their payments as the federal student loan freeze is set to expire in October.
The freeze on federal student loan payments and interest rates is set to expire October first. For college students and recent graduates, they’re hoping for an extension.
"I’m all for pushing it back to March," said recent graduate marcel Johnson.
The suspension of federal student loan payments has been in place since the pandemic began in March 2020. With the looming October expiration date, Johnson says he already has enough on his plate.
"You already stressing about finding a job right out of college and that’s not easy," said Johnson. "And then you want to add on student loans and it’s like my mind is already going 30,000 different places."
Johnson is currently looking for a job in his field. He says while trying to transition from full-time student to a working citizen, loans are the last thing on his mind.
"I’m thinking about if I have to move or just other personal things. Paying back a student loan starting in November I guarantee would be the last thing on my mind," he said.
Democratic lawmakers are urging President Biden to extend the freeze until March 2022, citing that some loan providers are not prepared to resume payments come October first and much like these providers, many college graduates and soon-to-be graduates are also not ready to pay off their debt.
"No one expected the pandemic to hit when it did and people getting laid off out of work," said Dequan Martin. "You start dipping into those savings and then your bills and the bills keep coming, it doesn’t matter."
Martin says he not only hopes for an extension until March but believes the government should reevaluate as each extension nears based on where the economy is at that time.
"If the pandemic is still going on in March, I do believe they should extend it to give everyone more time, more planning," Martin said.
The student loan freeze only applies to federal student loans. If you have outstanding debt with private companies, you should contact them to see what repayment options you may have.