Advocacy and Updates

Here to Help

We recognize COVID-19  may have an impact on student loan borrowers.  If you are worried about being able to pay your student loans and don’t know what to do, contact us. We are here to help and guide you through these challenging times. We offer remote one-on-one counseling sessions.

Contact us at 888-614-5004 (M-F, 9 am – 4 pm) or edcap@cssny.org.

Latest Updates

February 1, 2021

On January 20, 2021, through Executive Order, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) extended the current federal student loan relief until September 30, 2021.

What Does This Mean?

    • Payments are suspended. This is done through a special Administrative Forbearance.
    • Interest rates set to zero. Loans will not accumulate interest.
    • Collection activities are suspended for eligible loans. This includes the suspension of calls from debt collectors, wage garnishments and benefit offsets, such as tax refund seizures and reduced Social Security payments.
    • Suspended payments will count toward forgiveness programs and rehabilitation. For Public Service Loan Forgiveness, you must meet all the other requirements of the program. For more information on PSLF click here.
    • Income Driven Repayment (IDR) renewal grace period available. If your IDR recertification date falls between March 13, 2020 and March 31, 2021, you may have the option to delay recertification by one year. But speak to your servicer to confirm your options and renewal date.  It is important not to miss your IDR renewal deadline!
    • Note that you may continue to make payments by opting out of the Administrative Forbearance. Your payment will be applied to principal AFTER outstanding interest balances are paid off.

What Loans Are Eligible?

    • The above relief only applies to loans held by the U.S. Department of Education. They do not apply to private, Perkins, and commercially held FFEL loans. Contact us if you need to determine whether your loans qualify.

Frequently Asked Questions

    • For more information and FAQs, visit the Federal Student Aid’s Coronavirus and Forbearance Information for Students, Borrowers and Parents webpage.

Action Steps

    • Stay tuned! Most federal student loan payments are suspended until at least September 2021.
    • Confirm the status of your student loans. When in doubt, call your student loan servicer or look at your Federal Student Aid account (studentaid.gov) to know the status of your loan(s) and when your next payment is due.
    • Recertify your Income Driven Repayment (IDR) plan. Know when you need to recertify your IDR and don’t miss that deadline. You can recertify at studentaid.gov. If you wait and payments resume, you may be placed on a standard repayment plan.
    • If your loans are in default, get help to get them in good standing. Getting your student loans in good standing avoids collection fees, wage garnishments, and other benefit offsets.
    • Keep a copy of your student loan records. Download your records, including notices from your servicer and your Federal Student Aid account (studentaid.gov). Why? The U.S. Department of Education has contracted new servicers and some of the major servicers, like Nelnet and Great Lakes, may stop servicing loans in the future. You can read more about this here.
    • Do not pay for student loan help! You should never have to pay to manage your student loans. Do not fall prey to organizations offering to get you student loan forgiveness or other “relief” available because of this pandemic. Contact your servicer, a non- profit, like EDCAP, or legal service agency for free.
    • Do not ignore your private student loans. If you have private student loans, contact your lender and explore possible options. If you stopped paying them, get help first to determine the best course of action.

Remember that each situation is different. For help at any time, contact EDCAP for free and unbiased advice!