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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) Tens of millions of Americans are out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving many unable to continue paying off student loans.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, has introduced legislation that will hopefully ease this burden and allow qualified borrowers to write off their debt.
The Medical Bankruptcy Fairness Act would provide relief to those who have lost significant income or accumulated high medical expenses due to COVID-19.
Whitehouse said the last thing Americans who have been bankrupted by medical expenses from COVID-19 should have to worry about is paying off their student loans.
“My bill tries to address these issues, at least partially,” Whitehouse said. “It basically cuts across two issues: the issue of medical bankruptcy and the issue of student loans, so those with medical bankruptcy can cancel their student loans. “
While Democrats hope to relieve student loan borrowers in the upcoming COVID-19 relief plan, Republicans only agree up to a point.
Senator Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said he was prepared to allow borrowers to delay their student loan payments.
“If you don’t have a job, you can’t pay a loan,” he said. “They don’t work as much as they used to, they’ve had health care bills that they didn’t have before. So I’m a practical guy, I want to help people.
The CARES law passed in March suspended student loan payments until the end of September. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, said he believes the next aid plan should include something similar, as opposed to student loan debt forgiveness.
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