The toll of student debt in America is high. More than $1.7 trillion is owed by 45 million former students, according to the Federal Reserve.
Even more striking, 45% of debtors aren't sure they can make their payments when automatic forbearance ends at the end of January, according to a recent study from Nerdwallet.
Joe Biden ran on a platform of forgiving at least some of that student debt. In his Emergency Action Plan, Biden lends support to Sen. Elizabeth Warren's strategy to forgive a minimum of $10,000 per person in federal student loan debt. But does that mean you should hang tight on your payments until Biden takes office? It's a little more complicated than that.
Make a plan and review it often
If you're one of the 45 million student loan debtors, you need to figure out how you're going to pay that money back, regardless of any potential forgiveness.
Robert Farrington, founder of The College Investor, says to keep things under control by making sure you're checking in on your debt often. And he knows how stressful that can be.
"Pick the plan that you can afford right now," Farrington told TMRW. "That's the plan that will work for you, stick to those programs and reassess every year."
Right now, federal loans are automatically in forbearance until Jan. 31, so you have some time to crunch the numbers and weigh your options.
And if you've been eyeing those low interest rates for the past few months, Anna Helhoski, student loans expert at NerdWallet recommends taking a pause before refinancing.
"If you're a federal student loan borrower, you should not refinance with a private company in case there is any forbearance," Helhoski advised. Getting a private loan would likely make borrowers ineligible for forgiveness or forbearance, she said.