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Student loan suspension extended until January 2021, borrowers respond

The forbearance period for federal students loans now continues until the end of January 2021. I talked with a few people about how the suspension of student loan collections helped them financially through the pandemic.

“Anywhere between 75 and 125, so maybe somewhere around 100 dollars at the least, at the least", says Zachary Williams as he explains he monthly student loans payments before the pandemic.

Nurse, Linda Walker-Hill adds, “the way mine is set up, it’s like over 200 a month, yea. So, it’s a big chunk".

The forbearance period for student loans is extended again after COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise across the country and people are still working on cut hours and smaller incomes.

One small business owner says this period helped him invest more money into reaching customers during the pandemic.

“You can do more with it, you can invest more. You can spend it on things you want to spend it on. So I think definitely it gave the opportunity for people to, including myself to spend it on things, you actually want to spend it on", says Williams.

The forbearance period allowed the suspension of student loan payments and interest on the loans does not accrue.

After speaking with a health care worker she says student loans were the least of worries while taking care of dozens of COVID patients and trying to keep her and her family safe.

“Even for health care workers, like some of us have to quarantine, so we wasn’t working. Some of us still got paid, but it’s not what you normally got paid, what your normal check is. So, you still have to factor in you still got to pay your mortgage or rent, your light bill, you got to eat, your got kids", says Walker-Hill.

U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsey DeVos, says this extension will hopefully give congress time to figure out what do next in regards to student loan policies.

Both of the people I spoke with say they are now budgeting and planning on how they will start back paying on their student loans if there is not another extension.

For 39 News, I’m Imani Williams, in Jackson.

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