I am a College student that can’t pay my student loans, what options do I have?

  • The Department of Education has directed loan servicers to pause payments on federal student loans until September 30, 2020. Student borrowers should reach out to their loan servicers and apply for the special forbearance based on COVID-19. Loan servicers are creating a webpage that allows students to log in and apply for the forbearance. 

Does the CARES Act offer any help to students?

  • Yes. Pell and similar grants and loans have had rules waived that require the student complete their degree in a certain amount of time. This accounts for schools that may have had to end their spring semester and may not have a summer semester, delaying when students can finish.

  • Colleges and universities have been given funds to help in the transition from “Face-to-Face” courses to “Online” courses.  Funds are also available to help those students struggling with the changes.

  • If you have student loans you are now paying on, you can get forbearance until September 30, 2020, including on interest. If you make a payment during this period, it will count toward the requirements for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and Income-driven Repayment Loan programs, provided you meet the other requirements of these plans. 

Do I have to pay interest on federal student loans while they are on deferment due to COVID-19?

  • No. While there is a pause in payments, the Department of Education under the CARES Act directed federal student loans to also enact a zero interest rate during the time. This will remain in effect through September 30, 2020. 

Will IDEA students receive any assistance from the third package?

  • The CARES Act does not include additional direct funding for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) programs. It provides schools with waivers on completing different mandates connected with IDEA, along with other waivers, to try and give schools resources to be able to fulfill all of their programs. Congress will be tracking how U.S. Department of Education does in granting waivers to ensure core requirements of IDEA are met.

Will Universities receive supplemental assistance to help students with the impacts of Coronavirus?

  • The Department of Education announced $6 billion in grants to colleges and students impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Find the press release here and a breakdown on how much each school will receive under the CARES Act here.

Student Loan Payments By Employers

  • Certain employer payments of student loans on behalf of employees are excluded from taxable income for tax year 2020. Employers may contribute up to $5,250 annually toward student loans, and the payments would be excluded from the employee’s income.

Additional Resources

  • Department of Education: The Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid customer care line remains open at 800-4-FED-AID. Additionally, questions on which the Department can be helpful should be directed to COVID-19@ed.gov.

  • Additionally, there is an updated FAQ regarding student loan provisions that can be found here.