AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Millions of borrowers are factoring in student loan debt into their monthly expenses, now that repayments have officially resumed.

First-year Freshman told 22News that with where the crisis currently stands, they worry about how they’ll pay off their debt post-graduation.

After an over three year pause, federal student debt payments have resumed. Over 45-million borrowers owe an estimated $1.6-trillion collectively.

UMass Amherst Freshman Hannah Gromko told 22News, “It’s definitely overwhelming to think about.”

“I mean, it’s not going to be fun repaying it,” said Braedon McKenna, a Senior at UMass Amherst.

This past June, the Supreme Court shot down the Biden Administration’s effort to forgive student debt. While a search for the solution to this nation-wide issue continues, current borrowers are pivoting to include debt into their budgets once again.

There is a new repayment plan known as SAVE that could potentially lower the monthly payment for millions of borrowers. SAVE is an income-driven repayment plan designed to ease the burden on borrowers, and both subsidized and unsubsidized loans are eligible for the plan. Current students told 22News the ongoing debt crisis has shaped how they think about their financial futures.

“I feel pressured into doing one major that will guarantee me a certain amount of income when I graduate,” said UMass Amherst Sophomore Kelechi Ezemma.

“Once I graduate college, it’s like I’m in the real world. Am I going to be struggling to be an adult while also fighting these loans? I don’t know,” said UMass Sophomore Immaculate Kamau.

There is a 12-month grace period in place currently, meaning those who can’t make payments will not be at risk for default for up to a year.

Local News

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