Sept. 8, 2023
A COVID-19 pandemic-related pause on payments, interest, and collections has been in place for most federal student loan borrowers since March 2020. That pause ended on September 1, when interest accrual resumed on borrowers’ loans. Tens of millions of borrowers will soon be receiving (or may have already received) a bill, due in October, for the first time in more than three years. Those who graduated or left school during the pandemic may be getting a bill for the first time ever.
At the same time, the Department of Education is rolling out a new income-driven repayment plan, Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE); implementing a host of additional programs, reforms, and targeted forgiveness efforts for specific groups of borrowers; and engaging in an ongoing process related to larger-scale debt cancellation. In addition, many borrowers have experienced changes in their life or financial circumstances over the last three years. And budget constraints at the Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid mean that borrowers may encounter long wait times to speak with a student loan servicer.
As a result of these unprecedented events, borrowers are likely to experience confusion or have trouble accessing available resources to support their return to repayment this fall. New America put together a document outlining resources available to borrowers as they reenter repayment.