Resumption of Federal Student Loan Payments Pushed Now to September 2022
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect the Biden administration’s extension of the federal student loan payment freeze through Aug. 31, 2022.
With the moratorium on student loan payments looking to expire at the end of August, millions of federal student loan borrowers will have to resume making monthly payments beginning on September 1. For many, this will be their first student-loan related payment in more than two years. As of last fall, over 42 million Americans had a federal student loan for a combined $1.6 trillion in debt. Over 36 million of those borrowers had a direct loan with the government. It appears that interest rates on these loans will reset from zero to the rate prior to the pandemic.
Help Is Available
To prevent sticker shock when borrowers receive their first federal student loan bill, it’s important to find out how much is owed, the interest rate, terms, and monthly payment. This information will help borrowers factor resumed payments into their monthly budget. If it’s unaffordable, debt holders have to reduce their expenses or seek help. If the full amount due isn’t paid on time — even once — the loan will be considered delinquent and late fees may be charged. If you can’t make your payments, contact your loan servicer immediately for help.
With federal loans, you can change your repayment plan at any time. If you are interested in switching the plan you are enrolled in, the Federal Student Aid website offers a repayment calculator that could help give you an idea of what your monthly payments may be like under each of the different payment plans.
Loan Servicers Changing
About 16 million people with federal student loans will see their loan servicer change in 2022. The federal government recently ended its contract with three loan servicers including Navient, resulting in the change.
Borrowers should receive information from their new servicer but should also make a record of their loan information from their previous servicer. That will enable borrowers to spot any errors if they arise.
Some borrowers may be holding out hope the government will add yet another extension. Time will only tell. But in the meantime, student loan holders may want to plan and prepare for making monthly payments.
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