Axios Austin readers weigh in on student loan debt

Illustration: Aida Amer/Axios

Readers have shared many thoughts on the impact of student loan debt and the ongoing repayment pause on them.

Driving the news: Americans were originally scheduled to start repaying their student loans this week after a nearly two-year pause and 0% interest rates.

  • Yes, but: President Biden announced in December that payments would not resume until May 1, extending the 2020 pause for a fifth time at the start of the Omicron variant.

Why is this important: More than half of fourth-year college students in Texas have student debt, owed an average of $23,584, according to a September report from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

We asked how you approached paying off student debt given the prospect of loan forgiveness. Here is some of what you had to say.

  • I did it finally repaying my student loans last year and was surprised at what a psychological relief it was, and it still is,” Lilly R. wrote to us ahead. It really makes a difference to your mental state just knowing you’re tackling it rather than letting it languish.”
  • An engineer can easily pay off the average loan in a year if he continues to live as a student,” writes Hank W. “But it’s harder in a place where the costs are high. All one-bedroom off-crime (aka “luxury”) apartments near my daughter in Northwest Austin have gone from about $1,000/mo two years ago to $1,400/mo now. And it’s more difficult if the graduate is a math teacher like her, given the miserable salaries of teachers. She must marry an engineer like me.”
  • “The ethical borrower keeps paying because he borrowed in good faith,” writes John B. “If anyone ‘forgives’ this debt, take it; or if they’ve completed the refund, feel proud for doing the right thing.”
  • “A long time ago when interest was suspended, I continued to pay until my loan was reduced to the principal amount,” writes Ryan W. month to my larger and more expensive private loan. .”
  • “I saved to pay them all back once payments resume,” Jessalyn G. writes. “But if they were forgiven, I could use that money for a down payment on the house! If they are not forgiven, home ownership is 3-5 years away for me.”
  • “He does not seem Forgiveness is a priority for this administration, so I recently decided to start repaying my loans,” wrote Chris D.
  • “Currently building economies hoping for the campaign promise,” Justin G. wrote. “I have faith in Biden.
  • “I chose to pass money that would have gone to my loans like a drunken sailor,” Jared W. writes, “because a) I’m bad with money and b) I think there’s a chance there’s a sorry, so why potentially throw money away? “
  • “If you made the loan you have to pay it back,” wrote James F. “Have a little pride.”

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