Things Borrowers Should Know Before Student Loan Repayment Resumes
With the federal student loans all set to resume soon, borrowers have started drawing plans for the monthly installment after a three-year pause. With the signing of an agreement to raise the debt ceiling by President Joe Biden, the pause on student loans comes to an end.
Around 40 million Americans will have to start paying their installments in a few months, as per CNBC. Borrowers may notice a number of changes when they resume repayment.
Possibility of Lowering Payment From Forgiveness
In August 2022, Biden rolled out an unprecedented plan to terminate $10,000 in student debt for tens of millions of Americans, or as much as $20,000 if they received a Pell Grant in college, a type of aid available to low-income students, as per CNBC. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear two of those lawsuits filed against the plan.
If the top court okays the president’s program, roughly a third of those with federal student loans, or 14 million people, will have their balances entirely forgiven. In case the court strikes down the policy, borrowers will likely have the same monthly payment they had before the pandemic.
A New IDR Repayment Option
The Biden administration is all set to roll out more affordable repayment plans for student loan borrowers. Instead of paying 10% of their discretionary income a month, borrowers will be required to pay 5% of their discretionary income toward their undergraduate student loans.
A New Servicer May be Introduced
Several large companies announced the discontinuation of funds from their side. This means many borrowers will have to move to a new servicer when the repayments resume. About 16 million borrowers will have to choose a different company to deal with when the repayment resumes.
Higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz told CNBC, "Whenever there is a change of loan servicer, there can be problems transferring borrower data. Borrowers should be prepared for the possibility of glitches."
As the student loan repreive ends, here's something to remember,
Make Sure Your Student Loan Servicer Can Find You
Go to the servicer's website and verify that it has your information like contact details, email address, home address, and phone number.
Here's Where You Can Find Who Your Serivicer Is
Just go to StudentAid.gov and look for your account dashboard. Scroll down to the "My Loan Servicer" section. You can also call the student aid information center at 1-800-433-3243.
When And How Will The Student Loan Repayment Start?
You will be getting notified at least three weeks before your first payment is due. You can always contact your servicer to know before that.
What Are The Option If You Can't Pay The Loan?
You can always request for deferment or forbearance, both of which will only temporarily put payments on hold, as per the NY Times.
How To Choose The Best Repayment Plan?
Have a look at the loan simulator tool at StudentAid.gov to determine which is the best option for you. Using this feature you can compare different repayment plans side by side and how much they will cost over time, both monthly and also in total.
What Are Your Options If You Were Behind On Your Payments?
The good news is that everybody gets a fresh start and their accounts will be considered current. This abolishes the danger of falling into default.
If You Need More Guidance, Here's What You Should Do
The best place to get updated information is of course the servicer. However, groups like the Institute of student loan advisors also known as TISLA can help you get free help on what options may work best for you. Another nonprofit organization called EDCAP also provides help and guidance for borrowers. Borrowers should also be cautious about scam artists that may pretend to offer debt relief.