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 email@example.com.
Latest Updates: April 12, 2021
- January 20, 2021– Through Executive Order, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) extended the current federal student loan relief until September 30, 2021:
- 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 fell between March 13, 2020 and March 31, 2021, you have the option to delay recertification by one year. But speak to your servicer to confirm your options. 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.
- 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.
- For more information and FAQs, visit the Federal Student Aid’s Coronavirus and Forbearance Information for Students, Borrowers and Parents webpage
- 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.
- March 30, 2021– The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) extends Covid-19 Emergency relief on defaulted loans to borrowers with commercially-held FFEL Loans:
- Interest rates on defaulted loans will be set to 0%.
- Collection activities will be suspended, including wage-garnishments and Social Security and tax refund offsets.
- Wage garnishments and tax refunds seized over the past year will be automatically refunded.
- Loans which went into default since 3/13/20 will be returned to good standing.
- These measures will be made retroactive to March 13, 2020.
- 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!