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Federal Student Loan Repayment – What You Need to Know

On August 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced a final extension of the federal student loan payment pause until January 31, 2022.

This means millions of federal student loan borrowers will resume making payments after January 31, 2022. Full details are available at https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus, but below we have shared answers to some commonly asked questions.

Why haven’t I had to make payments on my federal student loans since March 2020?

On March 20, 2020, the Secretary of Education directed the office of Federal Student Aid to provide the following relief on ED-held federal student loans:

  • suspend loan payments
  • stop collections on defaulted loans
  • set interest rates to 0% for a period of 60 days

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed, and the president signed into law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which provided for the above relief measures through Sept. 30, 2020. Several more extensions occurred, with the final extension being made this August and ending January 31, 2022.

When will I have to start making payments on my federal student loans?

Once the payment suspension ends, you’ll receive your billing statement or other notice at least 21 days before your payment is due.

You can contact your loan servicer online or by phone to find out what your payment amount will be when payments restart. If you’re unsure of who your federal student loan servicer is, you can look it up in “My Federal Student Aid.”

I got a phone call or email saying I’m eligible for COVID-19 student loan forgiveness – is this legitimate?

According to ED, there is no coronavirus-related loan forgiveness available for federal student loans. If you are contacted with messages about student loan forgiveness, do not provide any personal or financial information – contact your loan servicer with questions or for help. Learn more: https://studentaid.gov/resources/scams

Where can I find more information about my federal student loans and what happens after January 31, 2022?

Continue to monitor the Dept. of Education’s page dedicated to the topic, and be sure your contact information is up to date in your on your loan servicer’s website and in your StudentAid.gov profile.

What about my private student loans?

All of the CARES Act provisions apply to federal student loans. If you have made arrangements or have questions about your private student loan repayment, you should contact the lender for those loans. Student Choice loans are held by the credit union from which you borrowed, and questions can be directed to your credit union.

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*APR = Annual Percentage Rate

In order to apply for a loan, you must first pick an individual credit union from which you wish to borrow. You can apply for the loan without being a member of the credit union you select, but you will need to become a member of that credit union in order to receive a funded loan. Therefore, it's important that you select a credit union that you will be eligible to join. Credit union membership requirements can include where you live, work, or attend school. Results are based on membership criteria provided by individual credit unions and do not imply a guarantee regarding accuracy or eligibility to join the listed credit union(s).

Calculations are based on the lowest possible rate and available repayment terms per lender. Rate estimates are based on credit information entered by the user and will not impact your credit. During the application process, a hard credit inquiry will be performed to provide exact rate information. Repayment calculations assume immediate full repayment. View the full range of rates and terms by visiting your credit union's website using links listed for each credit union above.

Using the free student loan refinance calculator does not constitute an offer to receive a loan and will not solicit a loan offer. Any payments and savings will depend on the actual amounts for which you are approved, should you choose to apply. This calculator is provided for educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as financial advice. Always consult your credit union or financial advisor when making your decision.

IMPORTANT NOTICE for refinance borrowers: By refinancing federal student loans, you may lose certain borrower benefits from your original loans. These may include interest rate discounts, principal rebates, or some cancellation benefits that can significantly reduce the cost of repaying your loans. Please review this important disclosure for more information.

Your actual rate within the range stated will be disclosed upon approval. Student borrowers may apply with a creditworthy cosigner which may result in a better chance of approval and/or interest rate.