(WSYM) — In his first few days as Command-in-Chief, President Joe Biden signed dozens of executive orders. Some overturned Trump administration policies, while others are a continuation of the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In all, there are 30 executive orders to study so far from the new administration. Three of them include areas that affect millions of Americans who may have lost income because of the pandemic, including housing and college student loan debt.
"Every, pretty much every extra cent that I have right now is going toward getting those loans paid off as quick as possible," Angela Talo said. She's working to pay down her student loans. "I started out with $29,000. I'm down to $19,000 at this point. So I've paid off 10 grand in those 9 years."
Talo said it's a relief that Biden extended the Trump administration's executive order freezing federal student loan payments and interest for the third time since the pandemic started.
It will now remain effective at least through Sept. 30, so instead of paying a hundred of dollars a month, Talo said she can reduce the principal at a quicker rate and eventually move on with her life.
"I can potentially start to look at buying a house or upgrading my car or starting a family if these payments are taken care of faster 13," she said.
There's also an eviction moratorium being extended through March 31. It's supposed to help struggling tenants keep a roof over their heads, but it's been criticized for hurting landlords' rental income.
There's also a moratorium on foreclosures tied to federally-backed mortgages, also lasting through the end of March.
"Essentially what it is doing, these policies, it's giving us all especially folks who have mortgages and students, it's buying them time," U-M Professor Dr. Amiyatosh Purnanandam said.
He said these policies appear to be a strengthened commitment by the federal government to do whatever it takes to help people under tremendous stress make ends meeting during the pandemid.
"And with the vaccine rollout, the hope is that the economy will recover and if people get on the 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, they'll go back to their jobs. they'll have their income," Purnanandam added.