Advocacy and Updates

Here to Help

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: November 22, 2022

  • EDCAP Request for Proposals. EDCAP invites non-profit community-based organizations in New York State to participate in this RFP. EDCAP anticipates awarding up to 20 contracts ($80,000-$100,000) to organizations to provide direct consumer assistance to individuals with higher education debt, which includes federal and private student loans. Applications are due September 19, 2022. Questions about this RFP should be submitted to edcaprfp2022@cssny.org.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Temporary Relief.  The federal government is temporarily waiving key requirements of the PSLF program until October 31, 2022.  This one-pager has information about what is changing and what action you may need to take.
  • Student Loans: How to Prepare for Payment Resumption. Federal student loan payments will restart after December 31, 2022.  This one-pager has useful information on how to prepare for payment resumption.
  • November 22,2022- The Biden Administration has announced an extension of the payment pause which has set interest rates to 0% and suspended payments since March 2020. This latest extension is linked to the status of the Biden-Harris Debt Relief plan to cancel up to $20,000 of student loans for eligible borrowers which is currently being blocked in the courts.
    • Federal student loan payments will resume 60-days after the resolution of litigation which has forced the Administration to stop implementation of the loan cancellation program. If there is no resolution by June 30, 2023, payments will resume 60-days after that.
    • For more information, see the US Department of Education press release. Register for updates direct to your email on the US Department of Education Subscription Page.
  • August 24, 2022– Today the Biden Administration made the following announcements:
    • The payment pause has been extended until December 31, 2022. Interest rates will be set to 0% and payments suspended until that date. Payments are expected to resume in January 2023.
    • The Administration will cancel federal student loan debt for single borrowers with income below $125,000 and married borrowers and heads of household with income below $250,000. Borrowers who received Pell Grants while attending school will be eligible for up to $20,000 in cancelation, borrowers who did not receive Pell Grants will be eligible for up to $10,000 in cancelation. This relief is expected to benefit about 20,000,000 individuals with student loan debt.
    • The Administration has proposed the introduction of a new Income-Driven-Repayment (IDR) plan that would significantly reduce monthly payments for borrowers. Details about when the plan might be available were not announced.
    • The Administration has proposed making permanent changes to the PSLF program which will make it easier for borrowers to accumulate qualifying payment credit in the future. These changes include counting partial and late payments and including certain periods of deferment and forbearance.
    • Check our website for updates. We will be providing additional details of today’s historic announcements shortly. In the meantime, visit studentaid.gov or read the D.O.E. press release for more information.
  • August 18,2022– The Department of Education (D.O.E.) released information about the not-yet-implemented Fresh Start Initiative, a program designed to provide a path out of default for over 7 million federal student loan borrowers. For one year after the end of the payment pause, defaulted borrowers will have access to federal student aid and have their loans brought back into good standing while removing negative items related to the defaulted debt from their credit reports. Borrowers will need to take action to benefit. See the Federal Student Aid Fact Sheet for more details.
  • August 16, 2022-The Department of Education (D.O.E.) agreed to automatically discharge $3.9 billion in student debt representing all remaining federal student loans for about 208,000 borrowers who attended ITT Technical Institute (ITT) from January 1,2005-September 2016, when the school closed. Borrowers do not have to file a Borrower’s Defense to Repayment (BDR) claim to receive this relief. A timetable for the discharge has not been announced. See the D.O.E. press release for more information.
  • July 6, 2022-The Department of Education (D.O.E.) is proposing changes that will give borrowers increased opportunities for loan discharge and forgiveness and protections from ballooning debt balances. These changes will affect the Borrower Defense to Repayment (BDR) and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) programs as well as Total and Permanent Disability, False Certification and School Closure Discharges. The proposal also aims to reduce the number of instances in which interest can be capitalized (added to principal). For more information, see the D.O.E. press release.
  • July 1, 2022– Management of PSLF portfolios transitions from FedLoan to MOHELA. FedLoan will begin transferring PSLF portfolios to MOHELA starting early July 2022. Transfers will continue into September and PSLF Waiver reviews will be ongoing during this time period. PSLF Certification and Application Forms filed on or after July 1, 2022 should be sent to MOHELA. Follow the submission instructions in section 7 of the form. FedLoan borrowers should down load important information from their online accounts prior to loans being transferred. For more information about the transition, visit FedLoan and/or MOHELA.
  • June 24, 2022– $6 billion in federal student loans for 200,000 borrowers to be discharged in a class action lawsuit settlement. The U.S. Department of Education (D.O.E.) has agreed to settle Sweet v. Cardona which claims the D.O.E. unlawfully refused to process or denied Borrower Defense to Repayment (BDR) requests during the Trump Administration. BDR offers loan discharge to borrowers who feel their schools misled them or engaged in other forms of misconduct.
    • Anyone who filed a BDR claim on or before June 22,2022 is part of this class action suit, even if the claim was denied. If you are part of this group, no action is required.
      • If your school is included on the list below, you will receive automatic loan discharge, refunds and credit repair within 12 months of the settlement approval date (expected this Fall)
      • If your school is not on the list, the D.O.E. must notify you of a decision according to a set timetable. If you do not receive a decision by the deadline, you will also receive loan discharge, refunds and credit repair.
      • For a list of schools eligible for automatic relief and the decision deadline schedule, click here.
    • Borrowers who have not yet filed a BDR claim should do it now.
    • For more information about the case and the settlement, click here.
  • June 1, 2022– The U.S. Department of Education (D.O.E.) approved a $5.8 billion discharge of all remaining Corinthian College loans for 560,000 borrowers. This includes those who have not filed a Borrower Defense to Repayment (BDR) application. Corinthian operated Everest, Heald and Wyo Tech campuses before its closure in April 2015.  For more information see the D.O.E. press release.
  • May 4, 2022Governor Hochul ends the practice of withholding transcripts for the purpose of collecting student debt owed directly to schools for ALL institutions of higher education in New York State.  The legislation goes into effect in 30 days.
  • April 27, 2022- The New York Attorney General secures debt relief for borrowers whose federal loans were mismanaged by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). PHEAA operates FedLoan Servicing and American Education Services (AES).  The settlement will require that PHEAA conduct an audit for borrowers who were improperly denied benefits available under the federal student loan system.   Only New York residents are eligible. For more information see the official press release from the Office of the Attorney General for the State of New York.
  • April 19, 2022– The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) announced changes to the Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) forgiveness program.  This program forgives balances for borrowers enrolled in IDR plans after paying into those plans for 20-25 years.  There is no employment requirement associated with this program.  Changes will be made that will allow more borrowers to qualify for IDR forgiveness and may benefit those pursuing PSLF as well.  Visit Federal Student Aid and read the D.O.E.’s press release for more information.
  • April 6, 2022– The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) extended the current federal student loan relief  through August 31, 2022.
    • Payments are suspended. This is done through a special Administrative Forbearance.
    • Interest rates set to zero. Loans will not accumulate interest.
    • 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 and the Temporary Waiver Opportunity, click here.
    • 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.
    • Loans eligible for the above-mentioned relief are limited to those held by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) (i.e., Direct Loans or DOE-owned FFEL loans). Private, Perkins or commercially-held FFEL Loans do not qualify.
    • Collection activities are suspended for most federal 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.  Loans eligible for this relief are Direct loans, all FFELP loans, Perkins loans held by the US Department of Education (DOE) and HEAL loans.
    • For more information and FAQs, visit the Federal Student Aid’s Coronavirus and Forbearance Information for Students, Borrowers and Parents webpage
  • December 22, 2021-The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has announced that MOHELA will become the new Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) servicer after FedLoan Servicing’s departure in 2022.  Stay tuned to Federal Student Aid for more information.
  • March 29, 2021-The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) announces relief for borrowers with Total and Permanent Disabilities (TPD):
    • As of 3/29/21, borrowers who received a TPD discharge through the Social Security Administration or by a doctor’s note, will not have their loans reinstated even if they fail to submit earnings documentation as part of the three-year, post-discharge monitoring period during the Covid-19 emergency. This change will be made retroactive to March 13, 2020.
    • Borrowers who have had loans reinstated after 3/13/20 because of missing employment documentation will see the reinstatement reversed and will not be required to submit the missing documentation at a later period.
    • For more information on TPD click here.

Action Steps

    • Stay tuned! Most federal student loan payments are suspended through May 2022.
    • 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.   If your loans are eligible for the above-mentioned Covid relief and you were enrolled in an IDR plan prior to the payment pause, payments will resume in that plan unless you’ve made changes since then. You do not have to recertify until after the payment pause is over but you may do so if your income has declined.  You can recertify at studentaid.govKnow when you need to recertify your IDR and don’t miss that deadline. If you miss the deadline, interest may capitalize and you may be placed on a standard repayment plan. Contact your loan servicer for more information.
    • 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? Major  servicers such as FedLoan (Scroll up for an EDCAP One-Pager on FedLoan), Navient and Granite State have announced their exit from the federal student loan servicing business.  About 35% of borrowers will see their loans transition to a new servicer over the coming months and throughout 2022.
    • 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!