Student loan payments to millions of Americans may be delayed again

Student loan payments to millions of Americans may be delayed again

For more than three years, federal student loan borrowers have not had to make monthly payments.

The pandemic-era pause has officially ended, creating a potential financial shock for millions of Americans.

The payment pause, which began in March 2020, meant that about 44 million borrowers in the United States were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Biden administration extended the pause for the eighth time last November, but will not do so again as part of the bipartisan debt ceiling deal approved by Congress.

Payments have been officially resumed on Oct. 1 - and they can be substantial.

The average monthly bill is typically between $200 to $299, according to the latest Federal Reserve data, even higher for some borrowers.

Collectively, borrowers are to resume paying about $10 billion a month, according to an analysis by JPMorgan.

The Education Department has previously said borrowers must expect their first payment at least 21 days before the due date.

Although payments came due over the weekend, interest actually started to rise at the beginning of September.

There is no interest accruing, Leslie said.

For most borrowers, the interest rate will remain the same as it was before the payment moratorium was instituted. Some borrowers may find their interest rate has changed when, for example, they consolidated some loans during the payment pause.

My monthly student loan payment is too high and I can't afford it. What should I do?

Borrowers can also apply for forbearance or deferment, which temporarily lowers or pauses the payments. The benefits of these options are numerous, but it's important to remember that there are pros and cons.

The Supreme Court overturned President Biden's student loan forgiveness program that would have wiped out up to $20,000 in loans per borrower at the end of June.

Biden said he would not comment on the deal, saying he was in no hurry to meet with President Donald Trump at the time.

Since then, the White House has announced other plans to reduce student loan debt, including the removal of $39 billion of debt owed by more than 804,000 borrowers whose debts have been outstanding for more than 20 years.

The resumption of these payments will likely force households to reduce expenditure in other areas, according to a note from UBS analyst Jay Sole.

UBS said that a number of brands and retailers could be hit by the spending decrease, including American Eagle Outfitters, Carter's, Crocs, Foot Locker, Canada Goose, Gap, Nordstrom, Nike, Steve Madden, Under Armour and Victoria's Secret.