Gov. Gavin Newsom announced debt assistance for student loans, as well as protection for those receiving stimulus checks amid the coronavirus pandemic, during his daily briefing on Thursday.
In order to assist the more than 1.1 million Californians with student loan debt, 21 out of the 24 major student loan providers in California have placed a forbearance on payments for the next 90 days to help those with debt.
“No impact to their credit rating, no late fees or fines and actual support in terms of getting new payment plans in place for future processing,” Newsom added.
The list of participating loan servicers was not immediately available.
In addition, the governor signed an executive order that denies the ability for debt collectors to garnish economic relief checks provided by the federal CARES Act. The order will be retroactive and effective immediately.
“We have been putting together that executive order and advancing a principle that I think is appropriate under the economic circumstance, and that is the nature of this emergency in crisis for individuals and families,” Newsom said. “Now is not the time to garnish those emergency contribution checks.”
However, this order does not protect those who owe child or spousal support or own money to a victim’s account, he added.
Newsom also addressed the warm weather forecasted for the weekend.
“That means people are prone to want to go to the beaches, parks, playgrounds and go on a hike, and I anticipate there’ll be a significant increase in volume, but I also think if there is, and people aren’t practicing physical distancing, I’ll be announcing in a week or so, these numbers going back up,” he said. “I don’t think anybody wants to hear that. I don’t want to share that information, but that’s really less up to me. It’s up to all of you.”
Newsom encouraged people to stay at home to the extent possible, and asked those who do choose to go outdoors to continue to abide by the physical distancing requirements.
Though California saw the number of hospitalizations and ICU patients due to COVID-19 decline both Wednesday and Thursday, Wednesday was the deadliest day for the virus, as 115 people died due to COVID-19 statewide, Newsom said.
“It’s a reminder, we’re not out of the woods yet,” Newsom added. “This disease continues to spread, and we need to continue to spread the word of vigilance.”
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