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  • Writer's pictureAnn J. Shubert, CFP, MBA

Ann-splaining™ Update: Student Loan Pause Ending With No Pandemic Forgiveness

On Friday, June 30th, the Supreme Court invalidated President Biden’s proposed Federal student loan forgiveness program that would have provided up to $20,000 in tax free loan forgiveness to eligible borrowers.(1) Coincidentally, this was also the deadline to begin the process of lifting the pandemic related pause on Federal student loan interest and payments that started in March of 2020. This means interest on student loans will begin accruing again in September and monthly payments will start back up in October.(2)


Ann-splaining™ update, student loan pause ending

If you have Federal Student Loans, now is the time to get ready for those monthly payments to resume!

What Steps Should You Take?

  1. Log in to the Federal Student Aid (FSA) website and check who is servicing your loans now, since this may have changed since March 2020.

  2. Log in to your loan servicer’s website:

    1. Check your balances and projected payment schedule.

    2. Set up or reactivate automatic debit to be sure your payments are made on time.

  3. Review your choice of repayment plans in using the Loan Simulator on the FSA website. It will ask you a series of questions, and then allow you to compare the various repayment plans so you can optimize for a specific goal like paying off faster, or lower monthly payments.

  4. If the payments on your current plan would be challenging with your income, look into income driven repayment (IDR) plans that may lower your payment. Information can be found on the FSA website here.


Answers to additional questions can be found on the FSA “Preparing for Repayment to Resume” webpage.


Repayment “On-Ramp”

Because resuming payments may still be difficult for some borrowers, the Biden administration has created an “on-ramp” to repayment. During the 12 months from Oct 1, 2023 through Sep 30th 2024, missing a student loan payment will not result in being reported to credit bureaus, placed in default, or referred to collection agencies.(3)


Replacing the Pandemic Loan Forgiveness Program

The Biden administration has stated that it will be pursuing a different path to providing student loan relief, one that does not use the approach invalidated by the Supreme Court. However, it will take longer to accomplish and the details are not clear at this time.


Student Loan Relief Available Now

A number of other recent changes to the Federal student loan program are still in effect and may provide some debt relief if you qualify:


  • A new IDR repayment plan called “Saving on a Valuable Education” (SAVE) will be replacing the existing “Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) plan this summer. It will lower the required monthly payments and also provide protection from unpaid interest accruing and increasing the loan balance while payments are being made. Read more about the SAVE plan here.

  • The rules for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program will be permanently changed over the summer to expand eligibility. The program provides loan forgiveness to borrowers who work in either the public or non-profit sector after they have made payments for a period of time. The application process has also been streamlined to make it easier to apply. Learn more about PSLF here.

  • The Dept. of Education recently made it easier to apply to the “Borrower Defense to Repayment” program, which can discharge your loans if you were defrauded or misled by your educational institution. Learn more about Borrower Defense here.


If you have student loans, don’t wait until the last minute to tackle revisiting your payment plan, the wait times to get help are going to get longer as October gets closer! Not sure how to combine student loan repayment with all your other financial goals? I can help, just contact me today.




References

1 - “Biden’s student loan forgiveness program was rejected by the Supreme Court. Here’s what borrowers need to know,” https://www.cnn.com/2023/06/30/politics/biden-student-loan-forgiveness-supreme-court/index.html, accessed 07/03/23

2 - “Here’s when your student loan payments will start again,” https://www.cnn.com/2023/06/30/politics/school-loan-payments-due-october/index.html, accessed 07/03/23

3 - “FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces New Actions to Provide Debt Relief and Support for Student Loan Borrowers,” https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/06/30/fact-sheet-president-biden-announces-new-actions-to-provide-debt-relief-and-support-for-student-loan-borrowers/, accessed 07/03/23


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The content of this website is for information only, everyone’s situation is different. If you have personal financial concerns, please schedule a 30 minute free, no obligation call with Ann here.

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