Student loan forbearance extended through September, financial aid officer offers advice

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NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — With the stroke of a pen, President Joe Biden signed a number of executive orders to Wednesday. One of them extended the deadline for college graduates to put off paying both principal and interest on direct federal student loans.

In March, then-president Donald Trump asked for the deferment because of the financial impact of the pandemic. Now, President Biden is sliding the deadline from the end of January to Sept. 30.

Sharon Carr, a student loan coordinator in Illinois State University’s Financial Aid department, said that doesn’t mean your payment won’t be accepted.

Instead, Carr said it’s a person-by-person scenario.

“Some people are experiencing extreme economic hardship right now due to the pandemic or they’re anticipating that so far those folks, it’s a huge benefit from the government,” Carr said. “For those not anticipating or experiencing economic hardship, it’s also a great time to make payments on student loans because it’s still required to pay and two with no interest occurring right now, it all goes towards their principle.”

Carr also reminds borrowers this is only temporary, so for now it’s okay to not pay loans, but it’s wise to start planning for when payments start up again.

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