Because of the economic hardships many families face because of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Joe Biden wants to give people who owe college loans more time to make their payments. That comes as good news to students at Western Carolina University.
Biden wants to extend the pause on the federal student loan payments and collections. That pause is set to expire at the end of the month, but Biden wants to extend that pause until Sept. 30.
When the pandemic hit, Congress' relief bill suspended student loan payments and waived interest. The relief was originally set to expire in September, but the Trump Administration extended it until Jan. 31.
Students at WCU, especially seniors, said putting payments off until Oct. 1 helps.
“Student debt is something that I'm always worried about, because when I get out of school, it’s not guaranteed that I’m going to find a job that will pay that stuff off,” senior Grayson Epperson said. “Extending this measure just means the world to me because it provides me more security to find a job when I get out of these uncertain circumstances that we're all facing."
Epperson said even with the state's NC Promise program, going to college is expensive.
“Although the tuition is $500, the more expensive stuff is your meal plan and your room and board, and that's the stuff most people really can't afford,” he said.
“Any help from anybody, but definitely President Biden going through with this would be great for anybody,” senior Jordan Simpson said.
“I think it would give me a little bit more time to accumulate some more funds and work and get some more time to get some work in and get more paychecks to put towards paying off those student debts, which is in my opinion quite helpful,” senior Patrick Martin said.
The pause on payments and the interest waiver apply to federally held student loans.
WCU's financial aid office is waiting for more details before commenting.
Biden also wants Congress to cancel $10,000 in student debt per borrower.
“That would be great if they could cut off 10 grand,” Martin said.
Full details of the loan forgiveness program have yet to be released.