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Federal student loan payment pause is a big relief for families ahead of holidays

“The average debt is around $25,000 to $27,000, so the forgiveness of this up to $20,000 would make a huge impact," Webster University’s Joe Roberts said.

ST. LOUIS — On Tuesday, President Joe Biden extended the pause on federal student loan payments for another six months.

President Biden said families with student loan debt don’t have to worry about payments resuming in January, they’ll now have more time while courts consider lawsuits challenging the debt relief plan.

“For that reason, the Secretary of Education is extending the pause on student loan payments, while we seek relief from the courts, but no later than June 30, 2023, which would give the Supreme Court an opportunity to hear the case in its current term. Payments will resume 60 days after the pause ends,” Biden said.

Congresswoman Cori Bush tweeted in support of the move saying, “The President has the legal authority to cancel student debt. Let’s keep using every tool to deliver it.”

Joe Roberts, Webster University’s Director of the Center for Innovation, said there are a lot of students and graduates who are thankful for the pause.

“Instead of spending money on paying off the student loans, you can spend that money on something else. So that is the immediate benefit for the consumers,” Roberts said.

He said this is especially helpful with the holidays right around the corner.

“I think the average meal they were saying for Thanksgiving for a family of two or three with traditional food is about $65 to $70. And so that is considerably higher than the past year. So the idea of not resuming payments in January is a relief because they can now adjust for inflation,” Roberts said.

Roberts said just a few days before this announcement many people received emails saying they were approved to receive anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 in debt relief but it was conditional due to lawsuits.

“The average debt is around $25,000 to $27,000, so the forgiveness of this up to $20,000 would make a huge impact on the amount of money people owe the government,” Roberts said.

Roberts said this time in limbo can be the hardest part for people but suggests if you can try to save some money during this time the burden might not be as much whenever payments are due again.

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