3 people on how ending student loan tolerance affects them

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  • The termination period for student loans under the CARES Act expires at the end of September.
  • The Insider spoke to three people with debts ranging from $ 14,000 to $ 185,000 about how this would affect them.
  • “With the end of the indulgence, student loan forgiveness is my best bet,” said Glenda Johnson.

Millions of Americans are still recovering from the financial turmoil caused by the pandemic.

Under the Coronavirus Relief, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), some student loan borrowers were granted a grace period – a pause in monthly payments.

However relief comes to the end coming soon: Borrowers must resume payments after September 30th.

An insider spoke to three people about how ending the deferred payment of student loans from COVID-19 will affect their lives and finances.

Camryn Hicks, 25, has a student loan debt of $ 14,250 and lives in rural Maine.

Camryn Hicks.

Camryn Hicks.

Camryn Hicks


I graduated from Boston College in 2018 with a degree in Business and Marketing. I am the first generation of women in my family who are in college and have received financial assistance in the form of loans and grants.

But I didn’t know what my student loan repayments would look like later when I signed up for them.

When I finished my studies, I took a job in Elizabeth Warren’s campaign. I was able to start paying off loans right away and never missed a payment. Warren canceled her presidential campaign around the time COVID-19 started to spread, so I ended up going back to my parents and starting a new job remotely.

During abstinence, I was able to make large lump sum payments to repay only the principal on my student loans using my incentive checks. With patience, I was able to start catching up with my finances. When my car was stolen, I was able to replace it and also opened a retirement account.

For me, a period of abstinence was a sense of what a cancellation would look like. I think the conversation about student loans focuses too much on the individual person, and if that one person can pay off the debt they signed up for. But this is not a personal problem, but an economic one.

My parents took hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Parent PLUS loans to send me and my sister to school. Student loan debt is not a personal burden, it is a family burden.

In many ways, student loans perpetuate inequalities in wealth – when people who don’t have to borrow get a head start. I think we need to stop puzzling over who is worthy of relief.

Glenda Johnson, 32, has a student loan debt of $ 36,693 and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Glenda Johnson

Glenda Johnson.

Glenda Johnson


When I graduated from college in 2011, my student loan balance was over $ 50,000, and I still pay off most of it.

I was lucky because I had a job during the pandemic. I make about $ 49,000 a year working in the sales department of a large tech company and also freelance on the side.

Most of my loans were in repayment plan based on income before the grace period. Restraint was able to keep me afloat because for over a year I didn’t have to worry about whether I could pay or not.

Some of my loans did not meet the deferral criteria, so I was still making payments on them.

With the end of patience, student loan forgiveness is my best bet. When I was in school, the job market I graduated from is not what it will be, and it’s a lot of money to pay when I don’t see income growth.

Having to make payments again will be a heavy burden for me, but I’m sure there will be a solution somewhere – whether it’s a promotion or getting extra money from my side job.

I still hope because the conversation about student loans is changing, but for some reason we can’t push the needle and people like me who get student loans will have to wait for the change.

Dylan Cowley, 32, has a student loan debt of $ 185,682 and lives in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Dylan Cowley

Dylan Cowley.

Dylan Cowley


I received my MS in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. I went to public school to get my bachelor’s degree, but for my master’s program, I had to take out additional loans for rent and living expenses, which amounted to more than $ 50,000 a year.

Except for a six-month grace period after graduation, I have paid monthly payments on my loans for over eight years. My federal loans are paid according to income and I repay my private loans regularly.

In about four years, I will be applying for Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)which should forgive me about $ 126,000 in my loans.

Restraint gave me the opportunity to breathe. I have always needed an emergency fund, and thanks to the CARES Act, I was able to create one. When it ends, I will have to adjust my budget to include an additional $ 260 payment.

I think a lot of people who don’t have a student loan don’t realize how stressful it is. We don’t complain without a reason.

I am not holding my breath over student debt forgiveness. You cannot just forgive all existing student loans. If we now forgive all student loans, then in 15 years we will be in the same situation. We need to start looking at student loans as a whole problem.



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