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Student loan borrowers have 4 more months without payments. How to make the most of the extra cash

  • For most borrowers, student loan payments won't be due until 2022.
  • Experts weigh in on the best ways to spend the extra cash until then.

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Life without student loan payments has come to feel normal for many.

Borrowers, after all, haven't needed to make a payment on their debt since March 2020, or for nearly a year and a half.

But when the White House announced its most recent extension of the break last month, it said that it would be the final one.

That means borrowers have just four more months without having to pay those bills.

The typical student loan payment is around $400 a month, according to higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz.

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CNBC spoke with some experts about the best ways to handle that extra cash before next year.

1. Add to your emergency savings

The pandemic has taught us how important it is to have a healthy savings account to fall back on.

People should try to build up at least six months' worth of expenses in cash should they have to live through a period of unemployment, he said.

To get the best return on your cash, keep your money in a high-yield savings account, experts say.

It's worth shopping around with different banks to find the best offer. The average online savings account rate is 0.45%, while it's just 0.13% with traditional brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions, according to DepositAccounts.com.

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