PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – In his first 24 hours in office, President Joe Biden got down to business in the Oval Office.
In the stack of executive orders signed Wednesday, there was an action requesting the U.S. Department of Education extend the Trump-era freeze on federal loan payments and collections through Sept. 30 and keep interest rates at zero percent.READ MORE: Kidsburgh And Brookings Institute Start Project To Increase Family-School Engagement
Dr. Kristen Coopie, Duquesne University Pre-Law Director, told KDKA this break is much-needed considering “on average, borrowers are paying back between $200-300 a month in just loan debt.”
Student loan forgiveness was a common campaign theme for President Biden, promising some borrowers $10,000 in debt cancellation.
“He was pretty specific in the qualifications. You had to have attended a public college or university or HBCU,” said Coopie, who specialized in campaign research. “This would have only applied to people making under $125,000 a year.”READ MORE: Idaho Lawmaker Wants Flags At Half-Staff Once Yearly For Abortions
So could these executive actions lead to legislative solutions?
“It’s encouraging that there’s now a 50-50 tie in the Senate. If there was still a Republican majority in the Senate, this would probably have no chance of passage,” said Coopie.
The current deferrals only cover federal loans, which is one reason financial aid advisors suggest calling your private lenders immediately.
“Reach out to them to see if they’re extending or deferring those payments. Most of them are. I’m going to say 99.9% have jumped on with the federal government… it still doesn’t hurt to call and follow up if you have a private loan,” George Santucci, Director of Financial Aid at Point Park University, said.MORE NEWS: Student Killed In Shooting Outside Oliver Citywide Academy
Some financial advisors suggest still making payments if you can. But do not expect to see any deals on future interest for making those payments during deferral considering these are federally issued loans.