Reps. Cephas, Roebuck propose legislation to waive interest for student loan and home loan borrowers amid COVID-19 pandemic

PHILADELPHIA, March 20 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas is introducing legislation with Rep. James Roebuck that would give Pennsylvanians who are paying off their student loans and home loans a break on interest during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

Cephas said the goal of her legislation is to protect people in need during the crisis -- especially those who struggled to buy their first home or go to college. 

“In the span of three months, COVID-19 has infected more than 207,000 people worldwide and counting. In Pennsylvania alone, there are 185 confirmed cases – and that number will most likely continue to grow in the coming weeks,” said Cephas, D-Phila. “Not only does this virus heavily impact our day-to-day lives, it also affects our futures. Hardworking Pennsylvanians and their families are finding themselves out of a job, or with fewer hours. With limited access to income, they are unable to pay their rent, bills, loans, and many other expenses accrued over time. We must do all we can to give working people a break during this unexpected time which proves to be more and more challenging.”  

Cephas said student loans and home loans take large amounts from a person’s paycheck, which is why she is focusing on those borrowers. She is introducing two bills, one that would waive interest on student loans through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and one that would waive interest on loans issued by the Pennsylvania Housing Financing Agency. The interest would be waived indefinitely and until the nation and world can get a better handle on containing the virus. 

"This seems to be the least we can do to help individuals meet the challenges of the current situation.” Roebuck, D-Phila., said.

The Pennsylvania Health Department continues to offer regular updates on COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. The current advice from experts for prevention and spread of the coronavirus is: Wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, make smart choices about attending public events, and stay home if you are sick. Listen to the experts. For the latest on the number of cases, plus information on prevention and preparation, residents should visit https://www.health.pa.gov/.