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U.S. Rep. Bill Foster joined some of his congressional colleagues to call for relief for those who owe student loans during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Foster, D-Naperville, and other House members wrote a letter to the nation's nine federal student loan servicers asking them to apply emergency financial assistance measures announced by the U.S. Department of Education during the crisis, according to a news release.
The members argued orders for Americans to stay home and close businesses to prevent the spread of COVID-19 can have devastating effects, especially on working class and low-income employees.
"As a result, many workers will face significant financial burdens and have difficulty covering their basic living expenses, including mortgages, rent, car payments, groceries, and medicine," the members wrote in the letter.
Last week, the Department of Education announced interest would be suspended for 60 days and borrowers would have the option to suspend payments for at least two months on all federally held student loans. The members asked the servicers to apply these measures to all loans, including privately owned loans, FFEL program loans and HEAL program loans.
"It is important that we work together to protect Americans during this national public health emergency, alleviate their financial hardships during this crisis, and do all we can to limit the damage done to our economy," the members wrote in the letter.
Several dozen members of Congress signed onto the letter.