MINOT, ND – On August 6, the US Department of Education announced a further extension of the suspension of student loan repayments until January 31, 2022. After nearly two years without borrowers having to repay their debts, this may be the last extension.
Student loans, although part of the educational experience, can be time consuming and costly as borrowers try to budget for these monthly payments.
“If you don’t live at home you have to set up an apartment, obviously food, then how much you have to work to make up the difference, so it definitely weighs on the payments and so on,” Stephanie Huether said. . , an MSU student.
But the almost two-year freeze on student loan repayments caused by the pandemic has been a relief.
“It has been a strange time, but very good news for the students. I mean you can’t beat the fact that they get an interest free loan all through that time which has been very, very positive for the borrowers, ”said Laurie Weber of the financial aid office of MSU.
Relief for the nearly 100,000 residents of North Dakota who have student loans, creating a total of approximately $ 3.2 billion in debt.
On average, North Dakotas have a balance of less than $ 30,000, so their monthly payment is around $ 212.
A student loan advisor from Student Loan Hero said now is the best time to start thinking about them again as it may be the last extension.
“Reach out to your federal loan officer or reach out to free resources like the Student Loan Hero and figure out what’s best for you. You know, if you want to lower your monthly contributions, you can consider income-driven repayment plans that can cap your contributions at a percentage of your income, ”said Andrew Pentis of Student Loan Hero.
And start budgeting now.
“If borrowers are able to start putting this back into the budget now, maybe doing it a little more gradually will help them absorb it when they start fully,” Weber said.
Borrowers can expect their first payment in February.
Borrowers can still postpone or request a forbearance once their loan is active again, but interest will accrue.
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