SFA financial aid borrowers urged to save for repayment pause transition

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) – The pause in federal student loan repayments ends in May. Financial advisers say now is the time to prepare for these “payment due” notices.

An additional 90-day break in student loan repayments continues to help borrowers facing pandemic-related financial hardship.

“Grocery, rent. We know things are going up. We need them to have that money to pay for these things,” said Rachele’Garrett, director of SFA Financial Aid & Scholarships.

SFA borrower Joe Reyes says the break makes it easier for him as he strikes out on his own.

“All these bills are sort of piling up. So not having that interest really helps.

This reimbursement extension is primarily for single college graduates who might need a bit of a break during the pandemic. They can have a career. They may have a family and the idea is to help them get started before they have to deal with those financial aid bills.

SFA sophomore Hayden Sachtoeven has some time before being required to make payments.

“As far as people who aren’t old, it doesn’t matter as much,” Sachtoeven said.

Student borrowers can wait up to six months after graduation to start repaying.

Student aid advisers are telling more than 11,000 SFA borrowers not to kick their butt by advising to pay what they can as soon as they can if they can.

“It lowers their main balance and it helps them,” Garrett said. “If they’re not able to make that payment, then that’s fine.”

But prepare now for the transition to reimbursement, said SFA spokesman Graham Garner.

“If they’re not able to make payments now that they’re making a plan for the future, they can make those payments,” Garner said.

Reyes said he took that advice. He currently works two jobs which he says help repay a parent-plus loan and regularly contribute to a savings account.

“Because you never know. Anything on the road can happen. I’d rather be safe than sorry,” Reyes said.

Again, the student loan repayment break ends on May 1.

All sorts of reimbursement transition reminders and tips can be found at www.studentaid.gov

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