How to Pause Federal Student Loans for 6 Months via CARES
Today, the Federal Government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes a provision stating that Americans who have had their incomes impacted by the coronavirus public health emergency can stop making payments on Federal student loans for up to 6 months without penalty (and without interest!).
Earlier this week, President Trump had already announced that there would be a two suspension in Federal student loan payments, and that there would be a two month suspension of interest accumulation for Federal student loans, but the CARES Act takes this even further, stating that no penalties or interest will be issued for borrowers through September 30th, 2020.
The 6 month break in payments is NOT automatic, however, and needs to be requested, so if you want to take advantage of this program then please note that you will need to contact your loan servicer to request that your loans are put into Deferment or Forbearance status for this period of time.
Please review this post, and my post on Frequently Asked Questions About the Coronavirus & Student Loans, then if you still have any additional questions, feel free to post them in the Comments section below.
I’ll do my best to get you a reply within 24 hours!
Other Coronavirus Student Loan Relief Benefits
Federal student loan holders now have access to a host of coronavirus-related assistance programs, including this new option to pause payments for up to 6 months, as well as several other programs that were announced over the past week.
All the benefits announced so far include:
- President Trump’s program offering Federal student loan payments to be paused for 2 months
- President Trump’s program offering Federal student loan interest accumulation to be paused for 2 months
- The Department of Education suspending all debt collection activities for Delinquent & Defaulted Federal Student Loans (meaning that you can stop Student Loan Wage Garnishments, Tax Refund Garnishments, and Social Security Garnishments, and get a refund for any Garnishments taken since 3/18/2020!)
In addition, several other forgiveness programs have been suggested in recent days, including Representative Ilhan Omar’s $30,000 Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program, Joe Biden’s $10,000 Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program, and proposals from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to cancel ALL outstanding Federal student debt.
Debate is heating up on whether or not any of the forgiveness benefits programs will be issued, but for now, it looks like there is no actual forgiveness or cancellation option coming, and simply a suspension or a delay in payments that will be offered.
What that means is that no debt is being eliminated, it’s just being allowed to sit for 6 months, without accumulating interest, penalties or other costs.
How Do I Take Advantage of These Benefits?
As I mentioned, none of these benefits programs are automatic, but have to be applied for or requested.
To start taking advantage of them, you’ll need to contact whoever services your Federal student loans and specifically request that your debt be put into forbearance or deferment status until September 30th.
Each Federal Student Loan Servicing Company has their own process for how this is done, but you’ll likely need to provide some information and fill out some forms in order to get the request approved.
To find out who you servicing company is, just look at who you send your monthly payments to.
Getting Help With Federal Student Loans
In addition to the new coronavirus assistance packages, there are already lots of other existing benefits programs available to help people with Federal student debt.
Over the last 10 years, I’ve written Guides on most of these programs, so make sure to check out the other pages of my site where you’ll find other ideas for dealing with your federal debt.
To get Help with Federal Student Loans, check out my Guides on:
- Federal Student Loan Forgiveness
- Federal Student Loan Bankruptcy
- Federal Student Loan Consolidation
- Federal Student Loan Delinquency & Default
- The Federal Student Loan Rehabilitation Program
- Federal Student Loan Wage Garnishment
- Federal Student Loan Deferment
- Federal Student Loan Forbearance
- Federal Student Loan Repayment Plans
Getting Help With Private Student Loans
And if you have private student loans, there aren’t as many available programs, but there’s still some assistance that you may be able to qualify for!
If you need Help with Private Student Loans, take a look at my Guides on:
- Private Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
- Private Student Loan Consolidation
- Private Student Loan Bankruptcy
- Private Student Loan Defaults
If you have any other questions about student loans, please post them in the Comments section below and I’ll try my hardest to get you a response within 24 hours!
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Disclaimer:Information obtained from Forget Student Loan Debt is for educational purposes only. You should consult a licensed financial professional before making any financial decisions. This site receives some compensation through affiliate relationships. This site is not endorsed or affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education.