‘Killing the Middle Class’: Millions of Dollars in US to Pay Off Student Loans After Covid Break | Biden administration

Jennifer Rae Wilson, a social worker and single mother of three in Richland, Wash., has struggled with student debt since she returned to school and graduated in 2000 – he over two decades ago.

Struggling to raise three boys with very little child support, Wilson decided to go to college 10 years after graduating from high school to improve his career prospects. She was eventually able to leave social housing for low-income people and government assistance programs.

“But then the school loans hit,” Wilson said. “I couldn’t afford the payments besides the rent and all the other things, there was no way I could make these payments.”

She is not alone, as student debt in America has become a crisis for millions of citizens who often feel like it will last people’s lifetimes, or at least ruin them for many years after graduation. graduation. About 44.7 million Americans have overdue student loan debts totaling over $ 1.86 billion, with 42.3 million Americans holding federal student loan debt.

The US Department of Education on break repayment, collection and interest on federal student loans in response to the Covid-19 pandemic under Trump, with the final extension on the break which expires on January 31, 2022.

But now millions of Americans are preparing to resume federal student loan payments after nearly two years of relief – and the crisis is expected to continue.

Between rent, bills and daycare expenses, Wilson defaulted after being unable to meet his student loan repayments. Then her paychecks began to be entered in 2010 to pay off student loans of around $ 1,000 a month, which only paid off the interest on her principal.

The pause in student loan repayments during the pandemic has allowed Wilson to catch up on other bills and buy a house, but she is worried about the resumption of payments.

“It concerns me a bit to come back with what they are going to be able to offer us in terms of payment plans,” Wilson added. “I have been making payments for 20 years and my balance has only increased. It does not mean anything. If I made a payment of $ 1,000 per month on my car or my house, I would be paid off and I would not have a home loan or car loan. But with that, it doesn’t seem to make a difference.

A recent survey out of more than 33,000 student loan borrowers conducted by the Student Debt Crisis Center, 89% of borrowers are not financially secure enough to resume their payments on February 1. Before the pandemic, over half of all student loan borrowers were either in default, withholding, deferral or not currently making payments on their student loan debt.

PJ Rivera of Texas is one of the borrowers who are not prepared to take back student loan repayments. Her initial student debt was around $ 80,000, but increased with interest to $ 110,000, despite payments of $ 1,000 per month.

“Student loans crippled my ability to have personal savings, but the inability to help my family struggling with hospital bills and other medical bills,” Rivera said. “The system is not working. It is not the fault of the students because you need the money to pay for your career. Maybe the tuition shouldn’t be that high to begin with. Everyone should be able to study and learn whatever they are passionate about without breaking the bank or living to pay and nothing else.

The average student loan debt for recent college graduates is about $ 30,000. Joe biden campaign on the cancellation of $ 10,000 in student loan debt per person and the cancellation of student debt for Americans who attended historically black colleges and universities and public colleges, but the Biden administration has yet to canceled the debt of these Americans

Beverly Dunker Brown of New York received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in the 1980s and 1990s, but with high interest rates and loans to parents and loans for her son, her debt student loan has grown from around $ 43,000 to over $ 150,000.

“I will be in the late 1980s paying student loans out of Social Security income,” Dunker Brown said. “I have loans from the Federal Family Education Loan Program that have not been suspended. I cannot afford to pay them and continue to ask for abstentions from them. “

Despite a six-figure business administration salary, she is unable to save properly for retirement, for her house, and for caring for her disabled husband who is a cancer survivor and needs regular dialysis. His own student loans are $ 862 per month, and the parent plus loans for their son will add an additional $ 362 per month when the federal student loans break ends.

“The interest and penalties are just crazy. My student loan balance is increasing every month. Blacks and Browns cannot advance, ”added Dunker Brown. “I don’t have generational wealth, retirement savings, or emergency savings, but I have an MBA that I graduated from in 1996. Having a sophisticated degree was not the answer. ‘it was meant to be. “

Black college graduates must on average $ 7,400 more student loans than white college graduates, and that gap triples to almost $ 25,000 four years after graduation.

Sabrina Elliott of Charlotte, North Carolina, couldn’t afford to pay off her student loans for the first eight years after graduating from law school. By the time she could afford to start making payments, the debt rose from over $ 72,000 to over $ 166,000.

Over the past seven years, Elliott has made minimum monthly payments of nearly $ 1,400 per month, but still owes more than the original loans despite paying over $ 90,000 in debt during that time.

“Student loans shouldn’t stop a person from owning a home, raising a family, or being a sign of shame,” Elliott said. “I have made the payment for over seven years and the balance is the same. As you can see, I paid off the original loan. The minimum payment is a mortgage payment but not high enough to reduce the debt.

Kaida Flowers, a family and pediatric therapist in Philadelphia, Pa., Has struggled to try to pay off her undergraduate and masters student loans, and only earns about $ 50,000 a year working a job that ‘she went on to try to help people and focused on student debt. the fact that she and others who have followed similar career paths are struggling to cope.

She struggled trying to pay off her undergraduate and masters student loans, and only earns about $ 50,000 a year working for a job she pursued to try to help people and pointed out that student debt is the cause for her and others who have pursued similar career paths, difficulties. to cope.

When payments resume, she will be forced to pay another $ 300 per month for her student loan debt, most of which will be used to pay interest.

“They are killing the middle class,” added Flowers. “Part of the American dream is to go to school, to try and do something to have a better life, but that just isn’t what it is.”


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