Now, how easy is it to get that pause?
In terms of starting, when did the lenders release this information? Some lenders were not immediately on board. It was very strange. We had to ask customers to go online or call them, and then some lenders did it automatically. I’d say at this point, every eligible person will probably receive that. Now, here’s the main thing: At first, some loans weren’t included, but as we get the pause extension, we’ve seen more loans now being included within the pandemic pause. If you’re listening, if you have a federal loan and aren’t sure if your loans qualify, log in and look at the lender’s website or visit studentloans.gov to see if you can get an administrative tolerance. And if you don’t, I will contact your lender. It may even be possible to reapply it as well.
This freed up money, and gave you an idea of what it would be like to live without this debt. What do people do with money?
You know, student loan debt is not one of those things that I feel like people are going to pay with excitement every month. They pay because of the commitment, right? So what I did, for a lot of people, allows them to improve their credit, because now they can take that extra money and pay other bills that might be overdue or credit cards that were charged. I’ve heard a lot of those success stories happen.
Now, the Biden administration is promising to pardon student loans. Do you think it will happen? Where is this position now?
I want to be very positive, Sherry, but I want to take my vote back. You know, the administration has really installed the temples of student loan debt, and it hasn’t come to fruition. I’m really upset, to be completely honest. Doesn’t look very favorable.
Yes, a lot of people are a member of that carrot for sure. You are a black woman owned business, and there is a huge racial disparity when it comes to student loans. Can you talk about that and then talk about your personal story?
So, you know, on average, African American women are disproportionately affected by student loan debt. On average, African American women also have the highest degrees of education in our country. But these grades come at a really nice price. And what’s happening is that we’re seeing our African American women show up at work with more debt than their peers. So the same salary you would receive as African American women would feel different from its counterpart. What I say to that is [it’s] To celebrate, it’s exciting to have certificates, and you know they want more for their lives in the future. But now also, as black women, we can’t ignore student loan debt because it affects and shows when we want to do the investment, when we want to do long-term wealth building. Now, I feel like I’m getting paid by my community to say, “Yeah, I know you have a payment of $400 or $500, or $800, or $1,000. Let’s figure out how to process that payment, but let’s not stop there. Because” Behind the eight ball.” You probably don’t put much in a file [401(k)]. This is what you have to do. You have to do X, Y, and Z to engage with your peers so your kids don’t have to know the words “student loan debt.”