Omaha students react to U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on student loan debt relief
While some programs can help, student borrowers say looming payments add further economic stress
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected President Biden’s plan to wipe billions of dollars in student loans. Those who would have benefited from it would have had part of their debt forgiven.
At the same time, a pause in student loan payments that began during the pandemic is set to end, with payments soon set to restart.
Presley Sieben is a full-time student at UNO. She is worried about how she’ll pay off her student loans.
“It’s going to be a little harder to get access to things that are going to help assist you in those loans,” Sieben said.
She has a job to help pay for rent, utilities, and other expenses. Sieben is one of many borrowers who relies on financial assistance to get by.
“It’s a lot,” Sieben said. “It’s like trying to figure out where you should put most of your energy into going to work or school.”
Dr. Ernie Goss, an economics professor at Creighton University, said students like Sieben will have to slow down on what they’re spending to pay off their debt. He doesn’t see the Supreme Court’s action to have an impact on the economy.
“I don’t expect there to be any bankruptcies or individuals having to leave their homes because of having to pay a federal loan repayment,” Goss said.
Also weighing on college students, the effects of inflation.
“With the income I’ll be making once I get a job, it will still be quite hard because I’ll have other expenses to take care of,” student Nick Bronicki said.
Goss advises borrowers who need help with their student debts to seek other options.
“I think you have to have a long-run plan when you graduate,” Goss said. “It’s important to know what is your likely income and how much you can repay in terms of your student loan and not taking loans you cannot repay.”
Hours after the Supreme Court ruling, President Biden commented from the White House, trying to stay on the political offensive even as the ruling undermined a key promise to young voters who will be vital to his 2024 reelection campaign.
He said payment requirements for student loans would resume in coming weeks, but that he would work under the authority of the Higher Education Act to begin a new program designed to ease borrowers’ threat of default if they fall behind over the next year.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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