Pupil mortgage debtors have had a break within the pandemic. Will it go on?

Student loan borrowers may see even more relief from the pandemic.

ViT postman | iStock | Getty Images

Student loan borrowers who benefit from a break in paying back their debts hope that it will continue to do so.

If the moratorium is not extended, they will have to reach for their checkbooks in January.

In March, the U.S. Department of Education announced that borrowers could pause their monthly bills without accruing interest until September. Then President Donald Trump signed an executive order extending redress until the end of the year.

However, this means that borrowers may have to resume payments within two months while the unemployment rate remains high and virus cases in the US continue to rise

More from Personal Finance:
Coronavirus is slowing the pace of tuition fee increases
Early vaccines for Covid are likely free to Medicare beneficiaries
Millions are about to lose unemployment benefits at the end of the year

Currently, only 11% of people with federal student loans repay them, according to data from university expert Mark Kantrowitz.

“When student loan payments become mandatory again, it’s a scary thought,” said Cecilia Sena, 22, who graduated from Columbia University in 2019 and owes more than $ 25,000.

Student loans have outpaced credit card and car debt as a burden on Americans, and every year 70% of college graduates are in the red. The average balance is $ 30,000, down from $ 10,000 in the early 1990s. Many borrowers owe more than $ 100,000.

And the balance has only grown. According to a recent analysis by Fidelity, the average monthly student loan payment among baby boomers is $ 722 this year, compared to $ 565 in 2019.

Many borrowers have to extend the payment break, said Kantrowitz.

“The pandemic will last a long time in 2021,” he said. “This means the economic consequences of the pandemic will continue, including high unemployment.

“Some jobs will never return,” added Kantrowitz. “Many jobs will be slow to return.”

According to experts, default rates among borrowers are expected to increase.

Kantrowitz said they could go up 10%. Betsy Mayotte, president of the Institute of Student Loan Advisors, said some are forecasting a crime rate of up to 40% if the payment hiatus expires in January.

“The way the virus is creeping back in, and this impact on the economy, I think many borrowers – but not all – need additional waivers,” Mayotte said.

There are some indications that the postponement could be extended. Both Democrats and Republicans have expressed support for the idea.

“Congress could pass it as part of another COVID-19 relief bill,” said Kantrowitz.

Another option is for the US Department of Education to issue another extension.

“When President Trump announced the first extension, he left the door open for further extensions,” said Kantrowitz.

Student debt relief is also on the table.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said that as president he would cancel $ 10,000 of the debt for all borrowers.

“This is a policy that will bring significant relief to all,” said James Kvaal, president of the Institute for College Access & Success.

Comments are closed.