Introduction Paying For and Selecting a College Federal Loans, Private Loans, and How to Tell the Difference Repayment Plans Student Loan Servicers and Ombudsman Offices COVID-19 and Student Loan Repayment If You Can't Repay Your Loan Loan Consolidation Programs Loan Cancellation/Forgiveness Programs If Your Loan Defaults Collection Activities Additional Information and Assistance Glossary Index of Resources
COVID-19 and Student Loan Repayment
Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), federal student loans payments were put into a “payment pause” as of March 13, 2020. This payment pause was extended up until October 2023. During this period, payments were automatically deferred and collection activity on defaulted loans was suspended. Additionally, student loan interest was paused, and interest began to accrue again on September 1, 2023. The months in which the payment pause was in effect will also still count towards federal student loan forgiveness programs.
If you made loan payments during this period, the full amount of your payments will go towards your unpaid principal balance, unless you owe any interest or fees prior to March 13, 2020. You can also request a refund from your servicer of any payments made during the payment pause towards eligible federal loans. Borrowers’ credit reports should not show as delinquent during forbearance. If there is any incorrect information related to your federal student loan activity on your credit report, promptly dispute it with the credit bureaus.
In September and October of 2023, payments, interest, and collections resume. If you are in need of continued forebearance or modified loan payments, promptly contact your loan servicer.
Private Loans and COVID-19
The payment pause put in place by the CARES Act and other executive actions did not apply to private loans or federal loans that are not owned by the U.S. Department of Education. Some private loan servicers offered voluntary forbearance or other relief at the time the CARES Act went into effect, however private lenders were not required to suspend payments, interest, or collection activity. To determine what type of forbearance or relief you may be eligible for, contact your private loan servicer.