DENVER — Some extra relief could come this week for the nearly 800,000 Coloradans who owe $28 billion in federal student loan debt. The White House is expected to extend the moratorium on payments through August 31, 2022, according to the Associated Press.
The moratorium was set to come to an end on April 31.
This pause could allow many Coloradans to stay afloat. Madison Bartolome knows the feeling of crushing student loan debt.
"Loans are putting myself and my family in a complete deficit," Bartolome said. “My mom helps, but I have two siblings and it's tough, so it's like, I don't want to ask anything of her."
Bartolome’s not alone.
"It's something you think about every day," said Rigo Hinojos. “I’ll probably end up owing $20,000.”
“I think by the end of college, I'll be at $120,000 in debt because I have to pay for housing," said Bartolome, who’s also from out-of-state.
“I think I’ll owe like $60,000 to $80,000," said Nicole Miller.
“Max, like, $7,000," said Jason Ortega.
Ortega says he's already paying interest.
“I have taken out unsubsidized loans, so I already have interest rates accumulating," Ortega said.
Forty-four million Americans carry student loan debt. The nonprofit Brookings Institute estimates total student loan debt to be around $1.5 trillion in the U.S.
The Biden administration's pause would be the fifth extension since the start of the pandemic.
Congressional leaders are also still considering canceling large sums of student loan debt.
"That would be great,” Ortega said. “That would help a lot."
“College is expensive, especially being out of state,” Bartolome said. “It's a struggle, but we work to survive."
It still remains in question whether President Joe Biden will pursue widespread debt forgiveness. Some Democrats in Congress have pushed for Biden to cancel $50,000 in debt for all student loan borrowers.