Dealing with student loan debt during the pandemic
Now how easy was it to get that break?
Regarding the first time the lenders released this information? Some lenders weren’t on board right away. it was so strange We had to instruct customers to get online or call them, and some lenders did this automatically. I will say at this point that everyone who is likely to be eligible gets it. Well, here’s the kicker: Initially, some credits were not included, but when we got the pause extension, we saw that more credits were now being added to the pandemic pause. If you’re listening if you have a federal loan and aren’t sure if your loans qualify, log on and take a look at your lender’s website or go to studentloans.gov to see if you can get an administrative forbearance. And if not, I would call your lender. It may even be applied retrospectively.
This freed up money and gave you an idea of what it would be like to live without that debt. What are people doing with the money?
You know, student loan debt isn’t one of those things that I think people will be excited about paying off every month. You’re paying because of the commitment, right? I feel like it has allowed a lot of people to improve their credit score because now they can take that extra money and pay other bills that may have been overdue or credit cards that have been charged. I’ve heard many of these success stories.
Now the Biden administration has promised student loan forgiveness. Do you think it will happen? Where is that currently?
I want to be so positive, Cherri, but I want my vote back. You know, the administration really rode the student loan debt, and nothing came to fruition. I’m really pissed off to be completely honest. It doesn’t look too cheap.
Yes, a lot of people sure bit into that carrot. They’re a black woman-owned business, and there’s a huge racial divide when it comes to student loans. Could you talk about that and then your own personal story about it?
So you know that, on average, African American women are disproportionately affected by student loan debt. And on average, African American women also have the most degrees in our country. But these degrees come at a really cute price. And so we see our African American women coming to work with more debt than their peers. And so, the same salary you get as an African American woman will feel different than your counterpart. What I say to that is [it’s] celebrated, it’s exciting that they’re graduating, and you know they want more out of life in the future. But even now, as Black women, we cannot ignore student loan debt because it impacts and shows up when we want to invest, when we want to pursue long-term wealth creation. Now I feel like I’m being burdened by my community to say, “Yes, I know you have a $400 or $500 payment or an $800 payment or a $1,000 payment. Let’s figure out how to approach this payment, but let’s not stop there. Because you’re ‘behind the eight-ball’. Maybe you don’t put much into yours [401(k)]. Here’s what you need to do. You have to do X, Y and Z to keep up with your peers so your kids don’t have to know the words ‘debt loan’.”