NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – If you have a college student loan, you once again have more time to pay it back.

The federal government has granted a new extension on repayment, citing the pandemic and the economy.

The U.S. Department of Education will revisit student loan repayment near the end of the summer when the moratorium ends August 31.

During the moratorium, student loan borrowers have the choice to hold off on repaying their student loan debt or make voluntary payments.

According to Marissa Lespinasse, the assistant director of financial aid at Tulane University, the decision relies on opportunity cost.

“So, if that means forgoing things for other people, such as saving for a down payment on a house or putting themselves into credit card debt with school payments or something like that, they have that choice right now to be paying for other things other than paying down the student loan interest,” said Lespinasse.

Some students believe student loan borrowers should be granted another extension because of the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

“COVID has really condensed our curriculum, so school’s getting a lot harder,” said Tulane sophomore Nick Khemmanyvong. “It’s a lot harder to focus on repaying those loans, so the extension’s really nice.”

The university’s financial aid director says it’s important students and former students remember this is just a pause and that we’re still responsible for the debt.

“Always stay up-to-date with your loan servicer as far as any announcements that come out, regarding repayment because this is going to be a big transition back into repayment because we’ve been paused for over two years now,” said Lespinasse.

Student loan borrowers who want to immediately pay off their debt by making voluntary payments are encouraged to target the high-interest loans.