Education fund organization releases tips for student loans during coronavirus

The+Department+of+Education+in+Washington%2C+D.C.+U.S.+officials+are+halting+default+student+loan+debt+collection+for+60+days.+

Photo Courtesy of Tribune News Service

The Department of Education in Washington, D.C. U.S. officials are halting default student loan debt collection for 60 days.

By Samantha Boyle, Managing Editor for Reporting

After President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion relief bill Friday afternoon, the U.S. PIRG Education Fund released a number of tips to help students navigate their student loans.

The U.S. PIRG Education Fund is an independent group that works for consumers.

The third stimulus package, which Congress sent to the President earlier on Friday, would aid student loan borrowers.

For example, it would block interest from accruing and delay loan payments through Sept. 30, apply automatically to federally-held student loan borrowers, move some borrowers into a “lower-payment income-driven repayment plans” and would end any action against defaulted federal student loan borrowers.

However, out of the 45 million student borrowers in the U.S., the 9 million borrowing private loans or older types of federal loans will not see the impacts of this bill.

The Education Fund has compiled a list of tips on how to reduce federal student loan payments and how to reach out to federal or private loan services. Here are the tips they offered:

 

    1. Switch to a plan with lower monthly payments tied to your actual income.

 


    1. If you have federal loans, you can switch to an income-driven repayment program online.

 


    1. Look at federal loan cancellation or forgiveness programs to see if any are right for your situation.

 


    1. Ask for deferment or forbearance — a temporary pause on your accounts — from your servicer.

 

    1. If you have private loans, discuss your options with your lender. Given that interest rates are falling in response to the slowing economy, refinancing at a lower interest rate might be possible.

 

    1. Know your financial information: Have your social security number and login or account number, and know the most recent address you filed your taxes from. It will be used to automatically verify your most recent reported income.

 

    1. Explain your current circumstances.

 

    1. Stay calm.

 

    1. Try multiple avenues of contact.

 

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