Student loan relief

I wrote a long post yesterday about the potential for $10K in student loans to be forgiven by the government stimulus package, but by the time I got inside from walking around in the dark with the nutjob puppy, that proposal seemed to have been shelved. Everything is moving so fast and also so slowly!

I didn’t like the idea of forgiving student loans, even though I am squeezed so tightly by their payments. Ten thousand dollars per borrower is a ton of money for the government but would be a drop in the bucket for so many borrowers – for many people (at least for us), it wouldn’t make a real difference, especially for stimulating the economy NOW.

Then last night I read a different proposal that, as far as I can tell, is close to being passed: deferrals for six months, no increased interest or penalties, those months count toward PSLF. Readers (reader?), I cried.

Six months of no student loan payments! Between my husband’s loans and mine, we are paying $1100 per month. Freeing up that cash for six months would make an enormous difference for us. In no way do I think we are the people who need the relief most in this situation, but dear lord. We could actually get a handle on things.

And if they count for public service loan forgiveness? At the end of that six months, I’ll just be 2.5 years away from forgiveness.

This proposal seems like it will cost the government far less than $10K per borrower (for most people, the only thing the government is losing is interest), and so much more targeted at helping people now.

I’m doing everything I can to spread our good fortune around. Yesterday I sent $150 to another friend whose husband was laid off, and we’ve ordered takeout three times in the past ten days, complete with absolutely ridiculous tips, which is more takeout than we’ve had in the past three months. I’m sending in our regular childcare checks and pretending like my kids are still doing lessons. This kind of deferral would let me keep doing all of that stuff while building up some protection in case our jobs go south.

Let’s hope!


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