The CARES Act offers temporary relief on government backed student loans. The Act provides breathing room, but not loan forgiveness, except for one specific program.
Interest waived for 6 months on federally guaranteed student loans:
- No action required
- Any payments made will be applied to principal
Option to pause payments on the following student loans for 6 months:
- Federal Direct Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized)
- Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans
- Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans
- Federal Direct Consolidation Loans
- Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) and Perkins loans if guaranteed by the government
Wage garnishment and reduction of tax refunds are automatically suspended during this period.
Income Driven Repayment Plans (IDR):
- If you have had a reduction of income due to the crisis, and you have elected an Income Driven Repayment plan, you can have your monthly payment recalculated at any time
- Contact your loan servicer to recalculate your payment
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Programs (PSLF):
- The Act states that payments paused for the next 6 months will be credited toward satisfying the 120 total monthly payments required for loan forgiveness
- This effectively reduces your payment obligation from 10 years to 9.5 years
What if you have a private loan?
- Some lenders of private loans are offering special relief programs
- Contact your loan servicer to find out what they may be offering
Where should you go if you have questions?
- Contact your loan servicer
- Login to StudentAid.gov/login
- Call 1-800-433-3243