There’s speculation, but no final word on an extension of the federal student loan payment pause

There has been speculation that the student loan repayment pause will be extended again. Last week, the White House stated that an extension is under consideration, and more recently, the Education Department instructed federal student loan servicers to hold off on sending borrowers the notices that they’re required to send about the resumption of student loan payments.


The student loan payment pause began at the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020 and has been extended a few times, with the latest extension set to expire on May 1, 2022. The student loan relief called for the suspension of required repayments, interest accrual, and collection attempts for federal student loans. The loan payment pause does not apply to private loans.


Student loan borrowers are still allowed to make payments during the deferment period. In fact, they may consider making payments to lower their interest fees and pay off their loans sooner.


Are you ready for student loan repayments?

Borrowers should determine if they’ll be ready when payments restart, and they should do so sooner rather than later. If you have student loans:


  • Review your budget to get a general idea of the payment that you can afford.


  • Contact your student loan servicer to determine your payment options, which could include one of many available payment plans or a continuation of the pause of your repayment.


  • If you’re required to resume payments, determine 1) when your payment will be due, 2) how much the payment will be, and 3) what payment methods are accepted. 


  • If you can’t afford the payment or the payment date doesn’t work within your budget, ask your servicer about alternative payment options, which may include a change to your payment date, a change to the payment amount, or a different payment plan.


And, remember, per the the Federal Student Aid site, “Never pay an outside company for help with your federal student loans. Your loan servicer will help you for FREE. Contact your servicer to apply for income-driven repayment plans, student loan forgiveness, and more.”


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