Student loan repayments resume after 3 year pause

Student loan repayments resume after 3 year pause
Published: Sep. 30, 2023 at 9:33 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2023 at 11:02 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - A program that was launched in March 2020 to provide relief for college students with federal student loans is ending. Interest on loans resumed on Sept. 1 while monthly payments will be due starting this month.

Terrance Gainer, a graduate of Augustana College, says he and his girlfriend benefited from the pause.

“It helped me out so much,” said Gainer, “thinking about the future with my girlfriend and possibly proposing, having kids and getting the house.” He added, “the pause for her is very helpful, because she’s working right now. By January, she’s probably gonna have to go back to school and accumulate 50 to 100,000 dollars in debt.”

The program was part of a federal emergency relief package in the wake of sweeping pandemic restrictions across the nation. Over the course of three years, Congress extended the program despite the easing of restrictions during same period.

Earlier this year, Congress passed a law that prevented further extensions, putting an end to the temporary pause.

The U.S. Department of Education has outlined ways students and parents can prepare for the change and seek additional relief.

  • Make sure your contact information is up to date on your online profile so you can receive updates and see your billing statement.
  • If you feel you are still in need of financial relief, you can still enroll in the government’s Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) program, which provides savings on your monthly payment, based on your current income.
  • If you are unable to find find a re-payment plan, you are encouraged to contact your loan servicer to ask for short-term relief.

The Department of Education warns of scams. They say companies may call you offering debt forgiveness or cancellation, in exchange for a fee. The department says you are never asked to pay for help, and say to never reveal your personal information or account password to anyone.