Emergency relief flexibilities for Federal Loans:
- Temporary 0% interest rate
- Suspension of payments
- Applies only to federally held loans (exclusions)
- Currently extended through 1/31/22
Preparing For Repayment
On February 1st 2022, millions of borrowers are set to re-enter repayment after the extended pause on interest and payments (originally enacted at the start of the pandemic in March 2020). Borrowers who will resume making payments beginning in February should anticipate longer hold times to speak with their servicers and delays processing documents. If you are needing to make a change regarding your loan payments, or have questions for your servicer, it is highly recommended you reach out prior to December/January. Servicers will likely begin having longer wait times as early as late December due to the massive influx of borrowers entering repayment at the same time.
Use tools available to you on studentaid.gov or your servicer's site for more general questions such as how to make a payment, when your first payment is due, etc. While the financial aid office is unable to assist with most loan payment-related questions, if you have a more general loan-related question, you can submit your question to the financial aid office and we will try to assist.
- If you're concerned about affording your monthly payment, try Loan Simulator. This is a tool to simulate different repayment plans. Keep in mind, due to the temporary 0% interest rate, the monthly payment amounts you see may not be exact, but can give you a glance at what changing to a different repayment plan may do.
- If you have multiple servicers, need extended repayment, or need lower payment options other than an income-based plan, consider consolidating your loans. There are pros and cons to consolidation, and it cannot be undone once loans are consolidated. It's important to consider if consolidation is the best option for you, or if changing to a different repayment plan may be a better route. The application for consolidation on studentaid.gov has a demo mode where you can simulate consolidating by manually entering your loans, without logging in.
Student loan scams have become more prevalent during the pandemic. Loan debt relief companies may be very convincing but there are a few key signs to look for when trying to spot a student loan scam:
- You're asked to pay an upfront cost or monthly fees
Your loan servicer works on behalf of the Dept. of Education to assist you (for free!) with your loans. This includes making payments, questions about your loan, helping you pick a repayment plan, and helping you change your repayment plan.
- You're promised immediate/easy loan forgiveness While there are legitimate loan forgiveness options (ex: public service loan forgiveness), scammers often have a path to loan forgiveness that is quick, easy, and generally too good to be true. No loan debt relief company can grant immediate forgiveness. Most loan forgiveness options take many years of qualifying payments, and specific conditions to be met before loans are forgiven. To review legitimate loan forgiveness options, see Qualify for Loan Forgiveness.
- You're asked to provide your FSA ID password
NO ONE (dept of ed., loan servicer, etc) will ever ask you for your FSA ID password. Your FSA ID serves as your legally-binding electronic signature, and your password should never be shared with ANYONE
Current Information on COVID-19 Flexibilities -includes FAQ about resuming repayment