“I know Professors at UF that say I will never pay off my student loans:” University of Florida alumni react to student loan pause extension

“I know Professors at UF that say I will never pay off my student loans:” University of Florida alumni react to student loan pause extension
Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 4:44 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -There are 45 million people nationwide who have federal student loan debt according to Education Data Initiative. The federal student loan pause extension until May 2022 has some borrowers breathing a sigh of relief.

“I know professors at UF that say I will never pay off my student loans,” said University of Florida Alumna, Jamie Mayfield. “I can make the minimum payment for the rest of my life it will not take off of my total.”

February 1 in the new year is when federal student loan payments were once expected before President Biden called for the extension, citing the ongoing pandemic as the reason why. Although to Mayfield, pausing payments shouldn’t be the president’s main focus.

RELATED STORY: Pause on student loan payments is extended through May 1

“It’s just getting rid of the interest rates,” mentioned Mayfield. “The interest rates on my house, I just refinanced my house right? I’m paying around 3%. It’s like 9% for a federal loan and that is a loan that the federal government gave me with the assurance that I’ll go to college and get a good job from that to pay it back. Why are my interest rates just killing me?”

Social media is where ideas differ among our viewers. In TV20′s Facebook comments, some say students pay up, and some advocate for free college. Others are ready for the collection emails to end. Another University of Florida graduate agrees that the recent pause on student loan payments makes a difference.

“The delay for payments was useful to me because they had a hiring freeze,” added Anthony Sykas. “So graduating college with a hiring freeze I was stuck in a lower position than what I would have wanted to be basically for the entire time the freeze was active so it did give me some breathing room.”

RELATED STORY: Insider Q&A: What’s next for student loans in the COVID era?

According to Education Data Initiative, nearly 21% of Florida residents owe between $20,000 and $40,000 in student loans. Although, that’s not the case for Mayfield who worked full-time as an undergraduate and wants the President to address interest rates.

“And I still had to take out loans and those are all federal loans,” added Mayfield.” The interest rate is so high that I now owe over $63,000. I took out less than $30,000 altogether.”

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