ECU students, financial aid director react to pause in student loan repayments until August 31

Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 7:46 PM EDT
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PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) -Many are breathing a sigh of relief knowing they’ll have more time before having to make federal student loan payments again.

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday the pause will extend through August 31.

This loan repayment pause was going to end on May 1 but President Biden said the US economy is still recovering from the pandemic.

ECU students, Cheyenne Kober and Anna Vancil, enjoy the thought of having a few more months to start paying back student loans.

“It is relieving knowing so because over the summer I planned to work an internship in my field of study so I’ll be making a constant income to then pay back my student loans in August,” said Rober.

“It honestly makes me feel relieved, just to know that I do have more time to think about how I’m going to pay off my loans,” said Vancil.

ECU’s Financial Aid Director Julie Poorman says this pause will mainly affect upperclassmen and those who have already graduated.

Poorman says, “Students who left school in spring of 2020 haven’t been asked to make any payments. It’s going to be quite a shock to them come August of ‘22.”

She believes the freeze extension needs to stop.

“I hope that they stop pushing, it’s called kicking the can down the road. I think they need to solve some issues to make the programs better and to make repayment easier for students and alumni,” said Poorman.

Rober disagrees saying, “It does give students an opportunity to get into their field of study and start working to start making money to actually pay back those loans,” said Rober.

Some lawmakers have talked about trying to cancel up to $50,000 worth of student loan debt, but Poorman says that would be a bad idea because it would drive taxes up.

This freeze has been going on since March 2020. During this period, interest on the loans stopped.

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