Legal Education

Suspension of federal student loan payments available during COVID-19 pandemic

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During the COVID-19 national emergency, borrowers can suspend federal student loan payments for at least 60 days with 0% interest, the U.S. Department of Education announced Friday.

“These are anxious times, particularly for students and families whose educations, careers, and lives have been disrupted,” said DOE Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a news release. “Right now, everyone should be focused on staying safe and healthy, not worrying about their student loan balance growing. I commend President Trump for his quick action on this issue, and I hope it provides meaningful help and peace of mind to those in need.”

The release directs borrowers to contact their loan servicers to request administrative forbearance. Also, DeVos authorized the automatic suspension of payments for borrowers who, as of March 13, 2020, are more than 31 days delinquent on loan payments. More information can be found here.

President Donald Trump on March 13 announced that he planned to waive interest on all federal student loans in light of the coronavirus, the Washington Post reported. According to a 2019 Nerdwallet piece, recent law school graduates on average have $145,500 of student loan debt.

“Some borrowers may want to continue making payments, like those seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or those enrolled in a repayment plan with a manageable monthly payment. For borrowers continuing to make payments, the full amount of their payment will be applied to the principal amount of their loan once all interest accrued prior to the president’s March 13 announcement is paid,” the DOE release said.

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