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Federal Student Loans – What You Need to Know Now

This post was updated on November 11, 2022. For the latest information about the proposed federal Student Loan Debt Relief Plan, visit https://studentaid.gov/

As of November 11, 2022, courts have issued orders blocking the federal student debt relief program. As a result, at this time, the Department of Education is not accepting applications its Student Loan Debt Relief Plan.  If you have already applied, the Department of Education has said it will hold your application.

Payments and interest on most federal student loans have been paused since early 2020, when the Trump Administration introduced the policy due to the emerging pandemic. Since then, the pause has been extended multiple times. On August 24, 2022, the Biden Administration announced an extension of the federal student loan payment and interest pause through December 31, 2022, as well as plans to cancel a portion of federal student loan debt.

What is happening with federal student loans?

As of August 24, 2022, measures included the following:

  • The payment and interest pause on federal student loans will have a final extension through December 31, 2022, at which point payments and interest will resume.
  • Federal student loan borrowers who earn less than $125,000 per year, or households earning less than $250,000, are eligible for debt cancellation up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 for non-Pell Grant recipients.

How do I know if I received a Pell grant?

You can log in to your Federal Student Aid account and view your FSA Dashboard. You should see a breakdown of your federal student loans and grants.

Where can I get detailed information about these measures?

Visit https://studentaid.gov/debt-relief-announcement/ for more information.

Will my private student loans be canceled?

These measures are tied to federal student loans and do not impact any private student loans you may hold (including those you may have with your credit union). Many private student loan borrowers also have federal student loans. If you are in this situation, we encourage you to contact your federal student loan servicer to see if you qualify for some level of cancellation on your federal student loan debt.

What is the difference between federal and private student loans?

Federal student loans are made and funded directly by the federal government. Private student loans are made and funded by private lenders, such as credit unions, banks, and online lenders.

If I previously refinanced my federal student loans into a private student loan, will I still get $10,000 in cancellation?

The forgiveness is tied to existing federal student loans. If you opted to refinance your federal student loans into a private student loan in order to gain a lower rate or longer repayment term, that new refinance loan is not eligible for this cancellation.

If I have less than $10,000 in federal student loans, can I use the cancellation against my private student loans?

These measures are tied to federal student loans and do not impact any private student loans you may hold.

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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.