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Student Loan Repayments to Resume on Oct. 1

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Aug 28, 2023

Student-loan borrowers will have to start resuming their repayments as soon as Oct. 1, and there are complications, The Wall Street Journal reported.

With the pandemic relief ending, interest will start accruing again on Friday, Sept. 1. Many borrowers, four in 10 according to government data, had their loans transferred to a new servicer during the pause that began in March 2020, and they may not recognize the sender of the new payment schedules that they will receive.

Millions more, who may have graduated or otherwise left school during the pause, have never been required to make a payment until now. Other changes to repayment plans and debt-forgiveness programs may confuse people further.

The Biden Administration’s new income-driven repayment tool is one option that borrowers can use to determine their best repayment strategies. They can also use a 12-month “on-ramp,” during which interest accrues but loans aren’t marked as delinquent or reported to credit-rating companies.

Loan servicers are adding staff in anticipation of increased call volumes. They also advise borrowers about complex financial decisions such as whether to consolidate loans or enroll in an income-driven program, called Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE). Some features of the plan, such as cutting monthly payments from 10 to 5 percent of discretionary income, won’t be available until next summer, after the regulatory process concludes.

President Joe Biden's previous mass debt cancellation plan, which would have forgiven as much as $20,000 for qualified borrowers, was struck down by the Supreme Court, and he agreed not to extend the pause in exchange for suspending the debt ceiling, the New York Times reported.

“A lot of folks just have no idea where to start,” Meagan McGuire, a consultant at financial- Student Loan Planner, told the Journal. “With the website and servicers not being super helpful right now, that’s leading to more confusion—newer borrowers are just throwing their hands up.