Consumer Credit Counseling Service News Articles
Hear ye! Hear ye!
Okay, now that I hopefully have your attention…the “rumors” are correct. If you have federal student loans, your payments do not (have to) begin again until May 1, 2022. If you were unaware, they were due to begin end of January 2022.
Why the “have to”? If you noticed, I said do not (have to) begin again. Because if you CAN afford to pay now, paying your student loans now while NOT accruing interest is a VERY WISE FINANCIAL DECISION. You can make a bigger dent in your repayment of loans if you can pay while no interest is accruing. It’s math.
This pause includes (continues) the following relief measures for eligible loans:
- A suspension of loan payments
- A 0% interest rate
- Stopped collections on defaulted loans
Do not accept unexpected offers of financial aid or help (such as a “pandemic grant” or “Biden loan forgiveness”) without checking with your school to see if the offer is real. The above-mentioned ones are NOT real. Do not wait to pay or know your loan status thinking a forgiveness is coming.
** Note: Major loan servicers have changed recently. For example, Granite State is no longer servicing loans. Edfinancial will be the new servicer for all loans currently held by Granite State. So be aware that the expected name of your servicer could be different, and is NOT a scam. Check StudentAid.gov to check if your servicer is now under a new name.
How much? When?
One the payment pause ends (now May 2022), you’ll receive your billing statement or other notice at least 21 days before your payment is due. This notice will include your payment amount and due date. So, around the first week of April start watching the mail.
You can get an estimate of your payment amount and due date through your loan servicer. Contact them online or by phone. You can do this while waiting for the pause to end and have an idea of your expected payments.
As of May 2022, the payments will begin again. But don’t wait. Prepare now.
- Update your contact information in your profile on your loan servicer’s website and in your StudentAid.gov profile. Not receiving the notice is not an acceptable reason for non-payment. Update your information. This is your responsibility and clearly stated in your loan documents.
- Review if you have auto-debit or sign up for the first time. Contact your loan servicer directly. You know a great way to NEVER miss a payment? Set up auto-debit.
- Check out the loan simulator to find a repayment plan that meets your needs and goals. Decide whether to consolidate and if it works for your benefit.
- Consider applying for an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan. An IDR plan can make your payments more affordable, depending on your income and family size. But get those loans paid off as quickly as possible! Save interest…and then apply those funds to your next big financial goal!
Get to know the following link for ALL kinds of information and help regarding federal student loans: studentaid.gov.
You can always set up an appointment for student loan review with one of our certified student loan counselors at CCCS also! You’re not alone! We’re here to help!
Holli Lewandowski, Certified Credit Counselor, Educator, and Advocate