MILWAUKEE — Like many Americans, Rene Rabaza is working to figure out a new family budget with student loan debt payments starting back up in October after a three-and-a-half year pause.
"It's just one of those things we're going to have to address. The break was nice but now we actually have to start paying attention to our student loans again," Rabaza said.
Since the pandemic began, new additions to Rabaza's family have changed her financial situation. Since 2021, she and her husband have welcomed two babies.
"Our lives before COVID were totally different than they are now," she shared.
A change in financial situations over the last several years is another thing Rabaza shares with many borrowers.
"If you have debt, you really want to face it head on and figure out a plan for it," said personal finance expert Jully-Alma Taveras. Taveras works with InvestingLatina.com.
One of the ways you can plan to repay your debt is with the loan simulator tool from studentaid.gov.
Betsy Mayotte, the president of The Institute of Student Loan advisors, said the tool can help you "find a payment play that works best for both your short and your long-term strategy."
Another tool borrowers may find helpful is the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) income-drive repayment plan. You can also apply for the SAVE plan at studentaid.gov.
If you are worried about making payments, experts suggest reaching out to your loan servicer about the repayment plan available for you.