SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – The White House announced Friday the moratorium on federal student loan payments was extended until the end of the year.  

In March 2020, the Trump Administration instituted the repayment suspension, so borrowers would not have to make payments on their Federal Student Loans. The Biden Administration issued a final extension until January 31, 2022.  

“There’s no penalties for taking that break,” said Senior Writer at Student Loan Hero by Lending Tree and Certified Student Loan Counselor, Andrew Pentis, “Interest rates were set to 0%, and those borrowers have been able to get some relief from their monthly dues in order to focus on, perhaps, higher priority personal financial goals during the pandemic.”  

Pentis said most federal student loans are eligible for the moratorium, but there are some types of loans that are not. Loans that are not eligible are Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), Perkins loans that were lent directly by the school, and private student loans. Private student loans are lent by banks, credit unions, or state governments.  

Borrowers with active federal student loans that qualify do not have to do anything for the moratorium to take effect on their loan accounts, which Pentis said it would be best to use the time to create a plan for when payments resume.  

“End your debt as soon as you can,” Pentis said, “Everybody’s different, everybody’s going to have a unique solution to resuming these payments, but certainly you want to make sure you have a plan in place.”  

According to a study by Student Loan Hero, Iowa has an average of $29,956 in student loan debt. South Dakota has an average of $30,3178, and Nebraska has an average of $28,684.  

South Dakota is ranked ninth, Iowa is ranked sixth, and Nebraska is ranked the lowest in average student loan debt in the country.  

Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska each have monthly payments that average more than $200, and total outstanding debt of more than $8 billion.  

Some borrowers, including those in Siouxland, may see that their lending servicer will be ending their contract with the Department of Education. This means these loans will be assigned to a new federal loan servicer.  

“Last year the Department of Education announced a handful of new servicers, so what you’ll want to do as a borrower is make sure that you have an up-to-date address on file with your federal loan servicer, the department of education. So, that way when they notify you about your loan being transferred to a new servicer, you’ll be aware of that right away.” 

Student Loan Hero published a study that looked at which parts of the nation are the most curious about mass student loan forgiveness being awarded by the federal government after it was called for by President Joe Biden.  

The study used data from Google search queries and found that out of the 10 states that googled student loan forgiveness terms the most, six were in the Midwest. South Dakota ranked number 2, and Iowa ranked number 10.  

Find student loan statistics here for Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

To view the study about Student Loan Forgiveness, click here.

To see how states would benefit from Student Loan forgiveness, click here.