COVID-19 Emergency Relief for federal student loans allowed millions of Americans to temporarily stop making student loan payments. With payments set to resume in October, here are some tips to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Update your contact information. If your mailing address, phone number or email has changed since your student loan was put on pause, log in to your Federal Student Aid account at StudentAid.gov to update your profile.
Know how much you owe and when it’s due. Your new loan statement should list your updated loan details, including the minimum monthly payment amount. You can also call your loan servicer or visit their website for details. If you were signed up for automatic payments, you may need to opt-in again.
Check your email or mailbox. While the repayment pause won’t be lifted until October 2023, you should receive a new billing statement soon by email or U.S. mail, depending on how you signed up to receive communications. Contact your loan servicer if you don’t receive it at least 21 days before your payment is due.
Explore alternative repayment plans. Your financial needs and goals may have changed since the initial payment pause. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Education provides a Loan Simulator to explore alternative repayment options. For example, if your income has decreased or your family size has increased, switching to the income-driven repayment plan could help lower payments.
Get complimentary loan advice from the experts. For more personalized help, discuss your situation with a certified student loan specialist at GreenPath Financial Wellness. They will review your loan type, discuss the pros and cons of your repayment options and help you develop a realistic budget to manage future payments.
You might also consider:
- Enrolling or re-enrolling in automatic payments through your loan servicer since they often come with a rate discount.
- Using a budgeting tool or app that helps you prioritize debt payments.
- Switching to biweekly payments, making a total of 36 in a 12-month year, so you’ll end each full year with 13 payments submitted instead of 12.
Beware of student loan repayment scams. Scammers may target those with student loan debt by posing as a U.S. Department of Education official, loan officer or debt relief agency, in an effort to steal your personal information. Never share your login credentials or personal information in response to unsolicited offers.
Read more tips from GreenPath Financial Wellness.