MACON, Ga. — Some people are on the edge of their seats as the federal pause on student loans is set to expire in two weeks.
13WMAZ’s Jessica Cha spoke with folks who are preparing to pay back their loans and how they feel, and with someone who talked about whether we'll be seeing another loan freeze.
“I think it's scary because it's so unpredictable,” says Maya Whipple, a recent graduate from Georgia College.
Whipple says she owes around $50,000 in loans after getting her Bachelor’s degree in art.
"I'm just not in the financial predicament to just come out of pocket and pay for an expensive college tuition, so I felt a loan would be a better option for me financially,” she says.
Whipple says she wants to go back to school to get her master’s in business, so she says she hopes for another loan freeze because it would help her tremendously.
"I'd have to start paying my loans in January and so I'm working towards goals to further my business-- my small business-- so I could be using that loan money to put into that,” she explains.
Whipple says she has the financial support to pay back her loans once they begin, but she says she’s scared that she wouldn’t be able to without the extra help. She says others with loans are in situations like that, so she thinks another freeze will help everyone find more time to get their situations in order.
"I'm probably gonna have to pay $700 a month,” says Sarai Hitchcock, a graduate of Mercer University and the University of Notre Dame.
Hitchcock says she's going to have to start paying her loans back next month– almost $70,000 in private and federal student loans– unless there's another freeze..
"It's more than a car payment for each of them. Probably, like, two or three car payments. It's absurd.”.
Hitchcock says she's been preparing to pay her loans back for the past five months, and has the help of her husband to help with the cost. However, she says not everyone knows about theirs.
"I think a lot of people don't realize that until they get into their loans and realize, ‘I have to pay this like next week,’ and it causes a lot of anxiety and stress,” she explains.
Middle Georgia State University economics professor Greg George predicts that the freeze will be extended.
"They'll cave to pressure and they will extend the freeze because otherwise, everybody will have to start making payments right now and nobody wants to, and that'll make the President look like a bad guy,” George says.
He says the longer loan payments are frozen, the more likely some kind of loan forgiveness will come out of it; but he says to be prepared for payments to resume.
"You need to make those payments. Don't wait for loan forgiveness because if it does come, it's not going to be 100% probably,” George explains.
He says that if you've got to start paying loans back soon, to try to pay them before interest starts building up.