Federal student loan payments resume. What you need to know
After three years of a pandemic-related pause on federal student loan payments and interest, borrowers will start making payments on their student loans beginning this month.
The end to the pause comes nearly three months after the Supreme Court rejected President Biden’s plan to forgive millions of student loans, ruling that the nation’s chief executive does not have the legal authority to waive more than $400 billion owed to the government.
Interest on student loans already started to accrue last month. Here’s what you need to know to check your account and the amount you owe.
Wondering when your bill is due and how much you owe?
The Education Department will be sending borrowers a billing statement at least 21 days in advance of the due date, which will provide information on your debt.
To ensure that the statement is sent to you, confirm your contact information at the Federal Student Aid website, studentaid.gov.
You should also confirm your contact on your servicer’s website. Also check to see if the servicer on your loan has changed. If you need a reminder on which company is servicing your federal loan or loans go to your account at studentaid.gov and select the “my loan Servicers” list, or call the Federal Student Aid Information center at (800) 433-3243.
Once you log into your account, make sure the record shows all the payments you’ve made so far. If it doesn’t, call your servicer and point out which payments are missing. And if that doesn’t fix the problem, file a complaint with the Education Department.
What if I’m struggling to make my payments?
If you’re unable to make a payment, the Education Department is instituting a 12-month “on-ramp” to repayment program from now until Sept. 30, 2024. With this program, borrowers who miss a monthly payment will not be immediately considered delinquent, reported to credit bureaus, placed in default, or referred to debt collection agencies.
During this time, the department said it won’t add the unpaid interest payments to the loan principal until the end of the 12 months.
You will, however, still have to pay the missed payments eventually.
What are other repayment options?
The Federal Student Aid website has a loan simulator that helps you explore options on different income-driven repayment plans. The simulator will compare what your monthly payment will be under each available plan.
A new, income-based student loan repayment plan launched Tuesday offers more affordable monthly payments to millions of low- and moderate-income borrowers.
One repayment plan option is the Saving on a Valuable Education plan, or SAVE, an income-driven plan that bases monthly payments on what borrowers earn, not how much they owe.
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