Student loan moratorium extended brings relief to thousands of Michiganders

President Joe Biden announced last week that his administration was extending the pause on student loan debt repayments by an additional 90 days until May 1.

The hiatus came just days before student debt payments resumed after being halted during the pandemic, leaving thousands of Michiganders to breathe a sigh of relief as COVID continues to make it difficult to make ends meet for so many people.

“Personally, I have $ 36,000 (debt), but between my wife and I we have a combined total of $ 91,000,” said Mike Langenright.

Langenright and his wife have lived paycheck to paycheck to student loan debt for over a decade, spending $ 500 a month to pay off their loans.

“I mean, it’s more expensive than either of our vehicles,” Langenright said. “It’s you know, the only thing that’s more expensive is our mortgage and is fair. “

The Langenrights are not alone. Almost three in five college graduates in the state are struggling with an average debt of nearly $ 31,000.

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When Biden extended the break just before Christmas, it was a welcome early gift.

“I literally texted my wife immediately and my sister and my best friends and everyone celebrating,” Langenright said.

They celebrated a lifeline for at least the coming months.

“It’s not like I’m like ‘Oh, now we can go on vacation,’” Langenright said. “It’s like, ‘No, now I can keep my house from falling apart and, you know, support my son and buy diapers and food. “

But the hiatus is temporary, and Langenright is hoping Biden will keep his campaign pledge to start forgiving thousands of dollars in debt.

“I think it’s like crossing our fingers again,” Langenright said. “Keep going beyond that. Because our situation, you know, the money we make isn’t going to change by May. So that was always the case, we’re just throwing the box on the road. .

According to research from 2019, the Michigan college where students ended up with the most debt was Detroit Mercy, with an average debt of $ 55,000. The lowest was UM Dearborn at just over $ 25,000.

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