Don’t ignore student debt due to payment hiatus, school official warns

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The Biden administration’s extension of a hiatus on student loan payments until May 1 should not be considered a “loan-less card,” says Pee Dee college administrator .

The administration announced the three-month extension on Wednesday, but Patrick Riccards, vice president of college experience at Coker University in Hartsville, said students shouldn’t bank on eliminating their debt altogether.

“It’s a wonderful gift, especially for those who have struggled for a few years, but it shouldn’t be viewed as a loan-less card,” said Riccards, who oversees the university’s financial aid office. .

Choosing not to pay the debt will have consequences down the road, he said.

“If you’ve recently graduated from college and you decide, ‘I’m just not going to pay, I’m going to default on the loans, no one will mind.’ They will care about that when you want to buy a car. They’ll care when you want to buy your first home with your spouse.

More than 36 million borrowers have not had to make payments on their federal student loans since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and although payments are suspended, the accumulation of interest is. also.

“I feel like I’m going to be stuck with this for the rest of my life,” said Noah Carralero, who like millions of others is in debt after attending Full Sail University in Florida.

He said he started repaying his loans in March 2019 and took the opportunity to catch up to repay them during the moratorium.

“It’s a lot of stress that I have $ 25,000 in debt but with interest and after five years that $ 25,000 could turn into $ 50,000 or $ 60,000.”

He said it would be a big help if his loans did not accumulate interest during the moratorium.

“It only lasts a few months, and for me, since my payments are around $ 400 per month, that’s only $ 800 to $ 1,200,” he said. “But I have to look on the bright side and realize that the $ 1,200 I paid doesn’t earn any interest or anything like that.”


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