Student loan payment freeze continues as Congress members call for debt forgiveness
Among a wide range of priorities for President Joe Biden is helping students manage their mounting loan debt.
Education loans are among the biggest that people take out and eventually have to pay back. But for now, the freeze on federal loan payments has been continued through later in the year.
Biden directed the Department of Education to extend the pause on student loan payments until Sept. 30. The yearlong payment freeze was due to expire at the end of January.
Long Island students are carrying an average of $35,000 in education loans as part of a $1.6 trillion nationwide debt on those types of loans.
Students at Molloy College say they were happy to hear the news from the president.
"I'm so grateful for that honestly ... I'll have enough time to pay off my loans and, honestly like, save a couple of dollars in my pocket," says sophomore David Chavez.
Biden has thrown support behind congressional action that would eliminate up to $10,000 in student debt. But in November, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and others called on Biden to eliminate an upwards of $50,000.
"That is a huge amount of money hanging over their heads and futures of Long Island young people, and not so young people," says Schumer.
Farmingdale State College President John Nader praised the president for the loan pause but cautioned on a large-scale loan forgiveness, saying any relief should be based on need.
"So rather than painting with broad strokes here, I think we need to be very targeted in what we do to help students who have financial need," says Nader.