‘Hallelujah:’ pause on student loan repayments extended until August

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) — Student loan repayments are on hold again.

On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced it was extending the pause on student loan repayments and keeping the interest rate at 0% on outstanding loans.

This moratorium was supposed to expire on May 1, but now the federal government is giving people more time until they need to repay their loans.

“If loan repayments were to resume on schedule in May, analysis of recent Federal Reserve data suggests that millions of student borrowers would face significant economic hardship, and that delinquencies and loan defaults could threaten the financial stability of Americans,” President Biden said.

Related: White House to extend student loan suspension through August

Jil Harris attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, but left her degree program in 2015. She was initially told she could use her father’s veterans benefits, which would have paid for everything . She was unable to use the funds and had to take out student loans.

She was overjoyed when she learned that the payment term had been extended.

“Hallelujah! Thank you very much,” Harris said.

According to the Education Data Initiative, more than 43 million borrowers have student loan debt.

She has over $20,000 in student loan debt and says late payments help us save money and make interest-free payments.

“That simple elimination of interest was really a big help for me,” Harris said.

She was unemployed at the start of 2020 and used the extra $200-300 per month to start her own freelance business as a videographer and editor, while saving up and paying other bills.

“It freed up money and freed up my mind really because I didn’t have this burden of ‘okay, I have to pay student loans, so I can’t afford this camera or software,'” she said.

UNC Charlotte’s Director of Financial Aid, Bruce Blackmon, says extended payment terms are a good way to save money, but it’s also a benefit of paying off your debt without the extra interest.

“If the student pays off their loan now, 100% of what they pay will actually go to the principal. They don’t have to worry about paying back interest, so it’s better for the long-term student,” Blackmon said.

Harris says she also makes repayments on her student loans and encourages people to do what’s best for them.

“Be smart with your money, whether it’s investing a little in your payment or just saving for something else for later,” she said.

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