The federal government is providing relief to student and parent loan borrowers as a result of the COVID-19 national emergency. Below you will find a summary of the provisions that will help you get through this difficult time. Additional information can be found at Coronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents.
You can temporarily stop making payments
As a federal student loan borrower, which includes both students and parents, you have had your loans placed on administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making their monthly loan payments without penalty. This forbearance will extend through September 30, 2020. If you are at least 31 days behind on your payments as of March 13, 2020, or become delinquent after that date, your loans will automatically be placed in an administrative forbearance to give you a safety net during the COVID-19 national emergency.
You will not be charged interest on your loans
All loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) will have interest waived. This includes Direct Loans, as well as Federal Perkins Loans and Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans held by ED. This provision is effective March 13, 2020 until September 30, 2020. If you continue to make payments during this time, the full amount will be applied to principal.
Benefits for borrowers in Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Income-driven Repayment Forgiveness
Relief provisions would also count each month of suspended loan payments as if the borrower had made a payment for the purpose of income-driven repayment plan loan forgiveness or Public Service Loan Forgiveness, as well as for loan rehabilitation purposes. Suspended payments are to be reported to consumer credit reporting agencies as regularly scheduled payments made by the borrower.
ED is required to inform borrowers of the temporary suspension and of their option to continue to make payments. ED is also required to send six notices to borrowers, beginning on August 1, 2020, informing them that the temporary suspension period is ending, and reminding them of their obligation to resume repayment. Those notices would be required to include information about income-driven plans.