SAN ANTONIO – If you lost your source of income or had reduced income because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, making payments on your federal student loans may be nearly impossible.
The CARES Act gives federal student loan borrowers some relief when it comes to making payments, and most recently, President Donald Trump extended the Sept. 30 end date of the program to Dec. 31.
So what does this mean for you, the borrower?
The Federal Trade Commission says if you have qualifying federal student loans, you are not obligated to make a payment until after Dec. 31. The U.S. Department of Education has automatically placed those loans into what’s called “administrative forbearance.”
If you have auto-pay, check to see if any payments have been processed since March 13, 2020. You may be able to get a refund if those payments went through.
The interest rate on those qualifying loans has also dropped to 0% until Dec. 31, meaning you can still make payments and pay off your debt even faster if you have the money available.
If your loans are in default, the U.S. Department of Education has stopped making collections calls and sending billing statements until the end of the year, as well.
The FTC says you don’t need to do anything to enroll in this relief program, but you must make sure your federal student loans are included.
Contact your federal loan servicer or visit studentaid.gov to find out if your loans are included.
For more tips from the FTC, click here.