Getting Your Career Back On Track After Student Loan Forbearance
One of the scariest things about taking on a large student debt load is the fear of what might happen if you suddenly lose your job. Not only would you have to deal with the stress of finding another one, but you’d have to figure out how to pay that big loan bill each month with no income.
For borrowers facing temporary financial hardship, most federal and some private student loans offer some kind of deferment or forbearance feature. These programs, which generally allow you to suspend or decrease payments for a finite period of time, can provide much-needed relief in emergency situations. But there’s a financial benefit to getting off forbearance quickly because interest typically continues to accrue during the period of non-payment.
Until now, forbearance programs for private and federal loans did nothing to solve the real problem that the borrower is facing – namely, that they’ve lost their main source of income. At SoFi, we’ve thought long and hard about how to address this challenge, and what we’ve realized is that forbearance alone isn’t the answer. Forbearance combined with powerful job search support – now that could really help people.
Which is why we’re announcing the launch of the SoFi Unemployment Protection feature this week. If SoFi borrowers are terminated from their jobs, through no fault of their own, we’ll suspend their loan payments for up to three months initially and up to 12 months in aggregate over the life of the loan.
To qualify, borrowers must be eligible and apply for unemployment benefits, and more importantly they must actively work with the SoFi Career Team group during the forbearance period.
It’s this career strategies aspect that makes the SoFi Unemployment Protection feature so different from other forbearance programs. We believe that having a successful career is about more than just being able to repay student loans – it’s a key component to having a happy, enjoyable life. So when our borrowers lose their jobs, we want to do more than just temporarily reducing financial stress. We want to partner with them to get their careers back on track.
And that doesn’t mean pushing borrowers into the first job that comes along. We give borrowers access to a wealth of services and resources that give them a huge advantage in their job search, all free of charge, including:
- Developing a coherent story/personal brand
- Identifying the right target job
- Resume/cover letter review
- Building and cultivating a professional network
- Interview preparation
- Assistance with the offer stage (e.g. negotiation tactics)
Even the most stellar career path can experience some hiccups along the way. At SoFi, we believe that partnering with our borrowers to help them through these difficult times is the key not only to each borrower’s success, but also to large-scale, meaningful change. That is why we have created our student loan help center in order to help each person through their student loan journey.
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Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.