Suspension of payment of student loans extended
TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9) – The Biden administration has announced an extension of the student loan payment hiatus until May 1, 2022 as the Omicron variant continues to spread. According to the announcement by the US Department of Education, the break will allow the administration to assess the impacts of the variant on borrowers and give them more time to prepare for repayment.
Experts from the University of Arizona and Pima Community College said it was always important to prepare for the refund after the extension ended. Art Young, director of the University of Arizona’s financial aid office, said it’s critical to make loan payments on time and verify your account information is correct.
He said if you are unable to make the payment on time, contact your loan officer as soon as possible.
“The main reason that students default or have problems repaying their loans is that agents cannot contact the borrower,” he said. “My best advice is to reach out to explain your situation and they can talk about different options.”
According to a recent Student Loan Hero study, Arizona residents are among the most indebted in the country with an average of around $ 32,000 and a monthly payment of $ 273.
Aurie Clifford of Pima Community College, who is the financial aid office’s assistant director of title four compliance, has said throughout the pandemic that people have been remaking their budgets, so it can be difficult to add this payment.
“If you’re having trouble and you get that initial coupon and you have that moment of panic, it’s the most critical time,” she said. “Ask questions. Ask lots of questions. Don’t be afraid because it’s your credit. It’s your life.”
She said that in addition to all the information available to help answer questions about loans, there are programs available to help with actual payments.
“The federal government actually has a lot of programs to help you,” she said. “So if you have cancer, whether you’re a veteran, medical professional, or law enforcement officer, there are a lot of programs out there, but you need to call and inquire about them. ”
One particular program is the Temporary Extended Civil Service Loan Forgiveness Program, or TEPSLF.
“So if you work for a public service organization, you might be eligible to have your loans canceled,” she said. “With TEPSLF, if someone is there – you have to make 120 payments – but with TEPSLF, if you request it, they can just reverse your last ten payments.”
There is an online tool that can help borrowers find out if they are eligible for TEPSLF called Help Tool Ninja.
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