Millions of Americans across the country are preparing for federal student loan repayments to start again this fall after nearly a three-year hiatus because of COVID-19. But that additional financial burden is leaving borrowers worried and concerned about their finances once payments come due again.
Among them is physical education teacher Morgan Covert. The 43-year-old told Scripps News she has around $100,000 in federal student loan debt.
"I'll be in the grave before I finish it off. I'll die with student loan debt. That's really how I feel," Covert said.
Covert estimates that when federal loan repayments restart this fall, her payments will be upwards of $600 a month.
"I'm getting ready to take on a part-time job … to help keep up with those costs," Covert said.
The Department of Education estimates 43 million people in this country owe a collective $1.6 trillion in federal student loan debt. On average, borrowers have around $37,000 in debt. Many haven't made a monthly payment since March of 2020, when President Trump paused payments, and are worried about their finances when payments come due.
"I hate it. I just want it gone. I've been paying student loans since February of 2016, going on eight years," said Shante Young, who owes around $74,000 in student loans.
Young estimates her monthly payments will be around $800.
"When you're talking about $800 a month, yeah I'll have to cut back on things. I like to go out to eat, go to the movies and shop. I will have to cut those things out because I will not be able to afford that," Young added.
As repayment dates approach, financial experts say it's important to start planning. Interest for federal loans will start accruing again on Sept. 1. Repayments for most borrowers will begin in October. Financial experts say to start re-familiarizing yourself with information now. And use September as a dry run to see what it's like without that money in your monthly budget.
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