Debt expert offers advice after student loan payment break extended

Mary Jo Lambert-Terry, managing partner at Yrefy in Arizona, said there were several reasons behind the extension.

ARIZONA, United States — The pause on student loan repayments has been extended again.

For months, borrowers planned to pay that dreaded bill again starting Feb. 1, but the Biden administration pushed back the moratorium until May 1, 2022.

Mary Jo Lambert-Terry, managing partner at Yrefy in Arizona, said there were several reasons behind the extension.

“Part of it is the pandemic, but also the changes in repairers,” Terry said. “So during the pandemic, we had federal loan services drop and then new ones came back, so they want to make sure everyone’s account is up and running the right way.”

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Terry said May was only a few months away, so it’s time to prepare.

“Two years is a long time, that’s how long it’s been since many have paid student loans, it’s going to impact your household and budgeting that bill again is going to be difficult. “

Terry said just start by updating your contact information.

“So go to studentaid.gov, update your profile because a lot of people have changed addresses, phone numbers, and emails,” she explained. “Also look at who your loan officer is, because your loan officer may have changed. Knowing who to make payments to is obviously quite important.”

She said if you can, start paying off your principal balance through May, even if there was an extension.

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“So during the pandemic, no interest accrued on your loan, which is great news and it also gave a break to people who have been unemployed or lived a life,” he said. she continued. “If you want, you can make payments from now until the May 2022 deadline and no interest accrues, so every payment you make is deducted from the principal balance, which is great.”

She said skipping coffee or eating out, setting aside as little as $25 a month through May can make a big difference.

“The bottom line is that you can put $25 on your student loans, it makes a difference that the principal balance is paid off even a tiny bit and there are no prepayment penalties on these loans, so when it goes into repayment if you can keep sending the extra bit of money, your loans will be paid off much faster.”

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