SFA financial aid borrowers advised to save up for repayment pause transition

SFA financial aid borrowers advised to save up for repayment pause transition
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 3:59 PM CST

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The pause in federal student loan repayments ends in May. Financial advisors say now is the time to get ready for those ‘payment due’ notices.

An additional 90-day break in repayment of student loans continues to help borrowers with pandemic financial strains.

“Groceries, rent. We know things are going up. We need them to have that money to pay those things,” said Rachele’Garrett, director of SFA Financial Aid & Scholarships

SFA borrower Joe Reyes says the pause is providing an easier time as he branches out on his own.

“All these bills kind of accumulate. So, not having that interest it really helps.”

This repayment extension is primarily for university graduates out on their own who could use some breathing room during the pandemic. They may have a career. They may have a family and the idea is to help them get things started before they have to deal with those financial aid bills.

SFA sophomore Hayden Sachtoeven has some time before being required to make payments.

“In terms of people who aren’t seniors it doesn’t matter as much,” Sachtoeven said.

Student borrowers can wait as long as six months after graduation to begin repayment.

Student aid advisors tell more than 11,000 borrowers at SFA not to kick the can advising to pay what they can as soon as they can if they’re able.

“That lowers their principal balance and that helps them,” said Garrett. “If they’re not able to make that payment, then that’s fine.”

But prepare now for the transition into repayment said SFA spokesperson Graham Garner.

“If they are not able to make payments right now that they do make a plan that in the future, they will be able to make those payments,” Garner said.

Reyes said he follows that advice. He currently works two jobs which he says is helping pay down a parent-plus loan and contributes regularly to a saving account.

“Because you never know. Anything down the road can happen. I would rather be safe than sorry,” Reyes said.

Again, the student loan repayment pause ends May 1.

All sorts of reminders and advice on transitioning into repayment can be found at www.studentaid.gov

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