Student loan repayment plans scheduled to resume May 1


Photo courtesy of Forbes

President Biden has extended the pause on student loan repayment plans.

President Biden extended the pause on student loan repayment plans that were previously set to expire on February 1. This comes as a response to the millions of student debtors still coping with the impacts of the pandemic and need more time before resuming payments. The student loan moratorium was implemented at the onset of the pandemic as a facet of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act (CARES), and has been extended through executive orders. After the pause expires, student loans will begin to accrue interest again after over two years.

According to Nancy Feltzer, interim director of Financial Aid at OU, students and alumni should use the extended pause to seek out information on their repayment plans.

“it is important that both current OU students and alumni with student loans start seeking out their personalized plan information and prepare for the restart of their loan repayments,” Feltzer said. “During these first two weeks of remote classes, we do encourage students to call our office to speak with a financial aid advisor who can also put you directly into a virtual meeting.  That being said, we are also open for in-person service in the office located in 120 North Foundation Hall. We always have financial advisors available to help you during business hours 8a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, so no appointment is needed.”

The Biden administration has faced scrutiny from both members of their party and constituents on how they are handling the $1.7 trillion student debt crisis. Isabella Mahuad, a third year OU student, feels the debt crisis could be handled differently.

“I feel that the student debt crisis could be handled a lot better. There seems to be a lot of backtracking and changes to what’s going to happen, which makes it really difficult for people to make informed financial plans. I’m not sure whether I know someone who will be affected by the pause expiring, but either way, this has been an incredibly difficult time for everyone, so I understand how the pause expiring could create a lot of added pressure for others.”

Biden has faced pressure from his constituents to use an executive order to cancel student loan debt. However, this seems unlikely as instead, the president has voiced support for canceling $10,000 in student loan debt for all students. According to a College Board estimate, the average student leaves college with $28,400 in loans, so canceling $10,000 would be significant.

To talk to a financial aid advisor, students can call their number — (248) 370-2550 — or email them at [email protected].

Visitors to the North Foundation Hall office are required to wear a mask and complete a daily health screening form. For more information, visit the financial aid homepage on OU’s website.