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President Donald Trump announced Friday that he will waive interest on federal student loans to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide families with relief.

Federal loans will not accrue interest during this waiver period, which will last until further notice. The waiver will apply to all federal loan borrowers but will take around a full week to go into effect.

Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized loans, which are undergraduate loans, have an interest rate of 4.53%. Graduate or professional loans have an interest rate of 6.08% and federal loans for parents or graduate students are 7.08%

42.8 million Americans have a total of $1,515 billion in federal student loans, according to Federal Student Aid.

39% of undergraduates at the UofA borrow federal loans, according to the UA Office of Financial Aid.

President Trump announced the decision to suspend interest accruing on federal student loans after he declared a national emergency because of COVID-19. This declaration will free up funds that are necessary to fight the pandemic.

Abby Zimmardi is a staff reporter for the Arkansas Traveler, where she has been a staff reporter since April 2019.

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