How the student loan payment pause changed people’s lives
Paying back student loans has shaped much of Hannah Purnell's early adult life, including her decision to live in a basement.
She was two years into paying back her loans when the coronavirus pandemic hit, upending the economy. Then-President Donald Trump announced a freeze on student loan payments. Purnell saw it as an opportunity to start whittling away at tens of thousands of dollars in student debt.
So she scoured Craigslist. She spent much of the pandemic's lockdown phase living with a large family in their basement, along with their grandmother, who doesn't...