Extension of pause on student loan payments affecting El Pasoans

El Paso News

(Gillian Jones/The Berkshire Eagle via AP, File)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — If you owe student loans, you don’t have to pay them right now as President Joe Biden has extended the pause on student loan payments.

El Pasoan Michelle Sapien told KTSM 9 News that she dropped out of college during the pandemic, due to classes moving online, but still has loans to pay off.

“I guess it’s a relief for a lot of us that are right now struggling,” said Sapien. “I ended up dropping out because I hated being online, it just frustrates me.”

She added that she has also been out of work for a while, but said the extension will help her save some money before needing to start paying off her student loan debt again.

“I’ve been unemployed for quite a while, but now I just barely got a new job,” said Sapien.

Dante Hinojosa, an El Pasoan who is still currently enrolled in college, said since he’s still in school, he doesn’t have to pay his loans quite yet.

“I have really small debt in student loans, but it is stressful. like. when I’m not going to school, because then they’ll start trying to get payments and then the interest rates start hitting me and stuff like that,” said Hinojosa.

University of Texas at El Paso President Heather Wilson told KTSM she thinks the extension is a great idea, adding that additional aid will soon be available for UTEP students and the plan for that aid will be announced directly to students.

“We know that our students are financially strapped,” Wilson said. “A lot of them have lost their jobs, their parents have lost their jobs; the most important thing they can do is to keep going with their education.”

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