skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A new study shows health disparities cost Texas billions of dollars; Senate rejects impeachment articles against Mayorkas, ending trial against Cabinet secretary; Iowa cuts historical rural school groups.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Senate dismisses the Mayorkas impeachment. Maryland Lawmakers fail to increase voting access. Texas Democrats call for better Black maternal health. And polling confirms strong support for access to reproductive care, including abortion.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Federal Student-Loan Payment Freeze Still in Limbo

play audio
Play

Tuesday, April 5, 2022   

More than 36 million people with federal student-loan debt have not been required to make a payment for over two years, but it could soon change.

A moratorium on federal student-loan payments went into effect in March 2020 and has been extended three times, with a current expiration date of May 1.

Rome Busa, director of adult programs and services for College Now in Greater Cleveland, pointed out with the average Ohio college graduate facing an average loan debt of roughly $30,000, the benefits of the freeze have been tremendous for borrowers.

"Now the flip side of that is, even though it's been a pause on the burden of repayment, it hasn't completely canceled it or taken it away," Busa cautioned. "So, at some point some action needs to be taken on both the borrower's side and the federal government's side. Right now, everything's at a standstill and there's really no solution being provided."

There are calls for the Biden administration to issue some federal student-loan forgiveness before the pause expires, or to extend the moratorium, since Americans are now fighting inflation as they struggle to recover from pandemic economic losses. Private lenders, who are not covered by the moratorium, claimed it is unfair for borrowers who do not need it, and argued it is driving down demand for their products.

Busa explained there is also talk about changing federal loan interest rates and other policies to make sure calculations are more fair.

He believes what is more important is addressing the high price tag for a college education. The average cost has more than doubled since the start of the century, and now stands at about $35,000 a year.

"If the costs keep rising, then the student debt will also continue to rise, because people need education to grow and to get a career," Busa contended. "That need to educate oneself is never going to go away."

In the meantime, Busa urged borrowers to prepare for payments to resume, and examine options to lower payments. Those include public service loan forgiveness and income-based repayment plans.

"And all of those have kind of different calculations all based off of their income, which helps lower those payments," Busa outlined. "It's possible to have a zero-dollar payment under one of these income-driven plans. And those zero-dollar payments actually count as an eligible payment toward their student loan."

He added College Now and other partners across the country can help student borrowers navigate the loan process.

Reporting by Ohio News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the George Gund Foundation.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Environmental advocates are asking California's next state budget to prioritize climate mitigation and cut tax breaks for fossil fuel companies. (The Climate Center)

Environment

play sound

As state budget negotiations continue, groups fighting climate change are asking California lawmakers to cut subsidies for oil and gas companies …


Health and Wellness

play sound

Health disparities in Texas are not only making some people sick, but affecting the state's economy. A new study shows Texas is losing $7 billion a …

Environment

play sound

City and county governments are feeling the pinch of rising operating costs but in Wisconsin, federal incentives are driving a range of local …


Each year since 2018, there have been more than 1 million online ads for guns which could be sold without a background check. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Well over three-fourths of Americans support universal background checks for gun purchases, but federal law allows unlicensed people to sell guns at …

Environment

play sound

By Max Graham for Grist.Broadcast version by Alex Gonzalez for Arizona News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public News Serv…

During what is known as the Medicaid post-pandemic "unwinding" process, South Dakota saw the largest drop in children's enrollment in the country, with a 27% reduction in the first six months. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Last year's Medicaid expansion in South Dakota increased eligibility to another 51,000 adults but a new report showed among people across the state wh…

Health and Wellness

play sound

There is light at the end of the tunnel for Tennesseans struggling with opioid addiction, as a bill has been passed to increase access to treatment …

Environment

play sound

The New York HEAT Act might not make the final budget. The bill reduces the state's reliance on natural gas and cuts ratepayer costs by eliminating …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021