Shapiro to DeVos: Suspend student loan payments during coronavirus crisis

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — With a surge in unemployment and wage loss due to the coronavirus pandemic, top law enforcers in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania want federal authorities to lighten the load for college grads.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro joined 26 others in urging the Department of Education to suspend student loan payments for those who can’t pay, without penalty.

“We want the secretary to give people time to make their payments, so they can focus on paying for their essentials now,” he said. “And in entering them into a program to give them that time, we don’t want them to charge them any interest or take any dings on their credit reports. Just basically, have a pause on paying their student loans.”

In a letter sent to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, the attorneys general urge DeVos to order collection agencies to stop going after those who can’t pay during this crisis, and to offer anyone dealing with student loan debt to go into a type of forbearance program, which basically suspends payments with penalties or increased interest.

“I just don’t think we need to have Pennsylvanians — or anyone with student loans — choosing between loan payments and paying for their groceries,” Shapiro added. “Now is the time to focus on the essentials, not on paying these student loans.”