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 your monthly loan payments without penalty. This forbearance will extend through April 30, 2022. 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 April 30, 2022. 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
During this extended time frame for the payment suspension, collections on defaulted, federally held loans are still halted, and any borrower with defaulted federally held loans whose employer continues to garnish their wages will receive a refund of those garnishments. Non-payments by borrowers working full-time for qualifying employers will count toward the 120 payments required by the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and as payments that are required to receive forgiveness under an income-driven repayment plan.
Federal Student Aid (FSA) is working in partnership with its student loan servicers to notify borrowers of this extension of loan relief measures, and this outreach effort will continue through the fall and toward an eventual return to repayment. FSA's servicers are working to make these changes, and borrowers can expect to see this extension reflected in their accounts over the next several weeks.