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Student loan payments to restart in two months: What local experts say about the situation

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 4:51 PM EST
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(WDBJ) - Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, payments on student loans have been paused.

In August, the Biden administration issued a final extension of that pause, saying payments would start again in February.

A University of Lynchburg economics professor says borrowers need to prepare now.

“I would plan for them to allow this to expire in the interim, so by February you should be able to meet your payment. Make sure you’re in good financial shape to make your payment in February,” said Dr. Gerald Prante.

Prante says the economy could have a major role on those in debt.

He says the current inflation will impact people differently.

“If your wages keep up with inflation, but your student loan payments are fixed, then your student loan payment as a percentage of your income will go down,” said Prante. Those without wage increases will not benefit.

Between the economic situation and unknowns about a new coronavirus variant, could there be forgiveness or another extension?

WDBJ7 political analyst Dr. Bob Denton says that decision will have impacts down the road, particularly on the president.

“It’s a very strategic decision that he must confront, but at the end of the day, I think he’s obligated to address the issue one way or another and if he doesn’t, there will absolutely be political fallout across the board,” said Denton.

Denton says the millennial voting bloc will watch closely with the issue, especially as midterms come into play next year.

“This is a major issue for this particular voting bloc and generation and so there is benefit for both parties to try to address it. This issue is not gonna go away,” said Denton.

Ultimately, the plan now is for payments to restart in February.

If you don’t think you can pay the full amount, Prante says to look for an income-driven repayment plan.

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