: ‘The pause has meant everything:’ What happens to borrowers — and the economy — if Biden lets student loan payments resume in September

by | Aug 21, 2022 | Stock Market

There’s less than two weeks until the latest pause on federal student loan payments is set to expire on Aug. 31. No need to tell Cassie Smith. The chance of restarted payments are “a looming rain cloud that sits over my head every day,” says Smith, 33, a college lecturer living in Austin, Texas with a $52,000 student loan debt on hold.

Smith is a Texas State University lecturer for students pursuing social work degrees. She took the job after years in the typically lower-paying social work field, watching some ex-colleagues drift to more lucrative paths, like real estate. Because she works for a public college, Smith believes she will eventually qualify for a program that wipes away the federal debt of public servants after at least 10 years of payments. But in the meantime, she’s felt squeezed by her monthly student loan bill — that is, until the freeze. “The pause has meant everything. It’s shifted and reshaped a reality for me that I never dreamed possible,” Smith said. The pandemic-era pause that began in March 2020 and was extended by both the Trump and Biden administrations freed Smith from a $268 monthly payment. It’s enabled her to pay off credit card debts, her old car and sock away money for a down payment on a condominium – no small feat for a single woman living in an expensive city. Still, she …

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