Recently, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that halted the Biden-Harris Administration’s one-time student loan debt relief program, which has disappointed many of us. However, in light of this development, we want to provide you with some valuable information about your next steps as interest and payments are scheduled to resume this fall.
With student loan interest resuming in September, and student loan payments resuming in October, what are my next steps?
Find out who services your student loans as this might have changed in the past three years. You can confirm who manages your loans as well as what type of loans you have by visiting Studentaid.gov. You can use your current login to visit your dashboard or create a new account and login to confirm your information. Access a list of the eight current student loan servicers available here.
What is a loan servicer?
A loan servicer is a company assigned by the Department of Education to handle the billing and other services on your federal student loans. There is no cost to you for having a servicer and your servicer is available to help you with repayment options and other concerns related to your federal student loans.
How do I find an affordable repayment plan? Can I reduce my monthly payment?
Before you contact your servicer to discuss repayment options, find out what plans you may be eligible for and what you would pay per month and for the remainder of the loan. Use this loan simulator to find a plan that aligns with your budget.
Other ways to reduce your monthly payment:
- Some servicers may offer an interest rate reduction for enrolling in automatic payment plans, which can also help you avoid late payments.
- If you were previously enrolled in an automatic payment plan, confirm that it is still in place.
- See if you are eligible for an income driven repayment plan by applying here.
- Learn more about the newly released SAVE plan that offers to cut payments in half compared to other IDR plans.
How do I avoid Student Loan Debt Relief Scams?
Be cautious of anyone reaching out to offer loan discharge, forgiveness, cancellation, or debt relief in exchange for a fee. These are likely scams. The Department of Education does not charge any fees to assist with federal student loans. To avoid falling victim to such scams, only work with the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Federal Student Aid, and their loan servicers. Never share your personal information or account passwords with anyone.
Is there still a possibility that my student loans will be forgiven?
More than 804,000 borrowers can expect to have their student loans automatically discharged in the coming weeks. The upcoming discharges are a direct outcome of the Biden-Harris Administration’s actions to rectify the counting of qualifying monthly payments for forgiveness under income-driven repayment (IDR) plans. These measures aim to address historical shortcomings in the administration of the Federal student loan program, where qualifying payments made under IDR plans were not properly credited towards forgiveness. You can learn more about this here.
What if I can’t afford to make any payments?
Contact your loan servicer as soon as possible to see what your options are. You might be able to recertify if you are enrolled in an income-based repayment plan or you may be eligible for a forbearance or deferment plan. If you don’t communicate with your servicer, your late payments could be reported to the credit bureaus which could have a negative impact on your scores and credit profile.
What if I have additional questions?
Reach out to your credit building counselor or to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can answer your questions or point you to the right person!