Updated 8/24/22: Since this blog post was published, the Biden Administration extended the freeze on federal student loan payments for approximately 40M borrowers through December 31, 2022.
If one statement rings true, it's that this season has been a big one for student loans! Earlier this month, the Biden Administration announced in August that the freeze on federal student loan payments and interest would be extended through January 31, 2022. Two major loan servicers (PHEAA and Granite State Management) also announced they're not renewing their contracts with the Department of Education, and student loan scams are at an all-time high. Phew! Deep breaths.
We're here to help you to find your student loan zen! Read on for how to navigate the months ahead.
What Does This Mean For My Loans?
If your federal student loans already qualify for the CARES Act, you won't have payments due until February 2022 and interest won't accrue on your loans. These extended months will also count toward forgiveness programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
Is There Anything I Need To Do?
This extension will be applied automatically, so there's nothing you need to do right now. But before loan payments resume, make sure you have a plan for how to re-start loan payments. If you need to lower your monthly payment, this is a great time to enroll in Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) before loan servicers get overwhelmed with paperwork. If your loans are in default, now is a great time to get your loans back into good standing while there are extra protections in place.
A special note for borrowers with loans at FedLoan Servicing or Granite State: These two loan servicers have announced that they're not renewing their contracts with the Department of Education, so it's possible you'll have a new loan servicer by the time payments resume. Keep a close eye out for any information about the transition from your loan servicer and the Department of Education. Summer will also reach out with updates as they're announced!
Lastly, it's worth noting that student loan scams are still at an all-time high. You can protect yourself by dealing with your loan servicer directly and contact Summer anytime for questions about the integrity of an email, letter, or text from a company claiming to represent your student loans.
Regardless of what happens in the student loan world between now and January, our team is here for you! Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.