LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Federal student loan repayments have been paused until August 31.

While borrowers haven’t been required to make payments for more than two years, one expert advised how Nevada borrowers can budget for their loan payments amid high inflation.

The U.S. Department of Education’s pause on federal student loans is set to expire in September, and with rising consumer prices, borrowers need to factor loan payments into their budgets sooner rather than later.

Yrefy student loan payment expert Mary Jo Terry said now is the best time to assess your loan situation.

“A lot of people who have federal loans also have private loans, take a few minutes, actually see how much you owe,” she said. “Are you in a variable or fixed interest rate? Think where you can crunch that money.”

In Nevada alone, borrowers have racked up $11.8 billion in student loans, with the average debt per borrower around $33,000.

“Honest to goodness, next to rent and mortgage, this is probably your biggest payment,” she added.

While there’s been a conversation about pushing the repayment pause until December or forgiving a portion of certain qualifying loans, there are no absolutes at this point.

Use this time to make sure your loan is in good standing and start making some payments on that loan to set yourself up for success.

“Every dollar that you make a payment right now goes toward the principal balance of your loan. I know a number of individuals who have started putting money away,” Terry said. “At least I have the money sitting aside, when we do go into repayment, a couple thousand dollars can make a significant difference.”

You might also qualify for a discount if your loan is placed on auto-debit. Also, there are some forgiveness programs available to apply for. Visit this link to apply.