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.
Contact us at 888-614-5004 (M-F, 9 am – 4 pm) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that while we are no longer doing in-person appointments, we are able to do remote and over the phone sessions.
September 3, 2020
Below are some things to know and consider as you decide what to do with your student loans.
CARES Act and Federal Action
- The CARES Act provided relief to student loan borrowers from March-September 2020. However, through an Executive Order, this relief has now been extended to December 2020. If you have federal student loans owned by U.S. Department of Education, you can expect the following:
- Payments will continue to be automatically suspended until December 2020.
- Interest rates will remain at zero.
- Suspended payments will count toward forgiveness programs, like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness, if you meet the other program requirements.
- Administrative collection actions, like wage garnishments and Social Security offsets, will continue to be suspended.
- 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.
- Stay tuned! Most federal student loan payments are suspended until December 2020 through President Trump’s Executive Order. Be on the lookout for additional information and potential congressional action that may ratify or expand this relief.
- 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 you were enrolled in an IDR plan and needed to recertify during the suspension period, do so now. 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.
New York State Updates
- New York State halted debt collection on student debt owed to the state in light of COVID-19 and the anticipated economic repercussions. The press release is available here.
- It is important to point out that this relief only applies to students that owe student debt, like tuition, to State University of New York campuses. This does not apply to federal or private student loans. As of today, debt collectors can continue to pursue borrowers who have defaulted on their federal or private student loans.
- The Department of Financial Services is issued guidance to state regulated financial institutions to alleviate the adverse impact on consumers that can demonstrate financial hardship caused by COVID-19. This includes waiving late fees and providing new loans on more favorable terms. More information can be found here.
Remember that each situation is different. Again, feel free to contact EDCAP to explore your best options during this crisis.