College debt during the pandemic

Local News

WASHINGTON, DC – As tens of millions of Americans lose their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many of them have an added burden–unpaid student loans.

Lawmakers want to provide relief to educational loan borrowers who have lost significant income or have high medical expenses due to COVID.

As NewsChannel 34’s Morgan Wright shows us, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island has introduced a bill that would allow borrowers to erase the debt.

{Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D/RI} Covid obviously has made a lot of people sick and so it has caused a lot of medical expense.

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse says Americans bankrupted by COVID medical bills should not have to worry about repaying their student loans.

{Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D/RI} My bill tries to remedy those problems at least partially.

Whitehouse – has introduced the Medical Bankruptcy Fairness Act.

{Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D/RI} So this intersects basically two issues, the issue of medical bankruptcy and the issue of student loans so that those who have a medical bankruptcy can undo their student loans.

With negotiations on-going for the next covid relief package – Democrats want to provide relief to student loan borrowers.

And Republicans are on board to a point.

{Senator Lindsey Graham, R/SC} If you don’t have a job you can’t pay a loan.

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham says he’s willing to help by delaying not forgiving loan payments while people are unemployed and struggling during this crisis.

{Senator Lindsey Graham, R/SC} They’re not working as much as they used to, they’ve had healthcare bills they didn’t have before. So I’m a practical guy, I want to help people.

{Senator Mike Rounds, R/SD} The idea would be to allow them to delay the payments that are coming in.

The CARES Act passed in March paused student loan payments until the end of September – South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds says he believes the next package should include more relief like that.

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