Do I Need to Pay My Student Loans?
If you have a qualifying federal student loan, you do not have to pay it now! The CARES Act allows you to not pay your federal student loans until September, and they also won’t accrue interest during this time. Starting March 13th until September 30th, your balance will be frozen – it will not increase because of interest and you do not need to make payments.
Does My Loan Qualify?
To qualify your loan must be from the federal government only, not from a bank. Any direct loan since 2010, including Parent PLUS loans, qualify. Most FFEL or Perkins loans from before 2010 do NOT qualify. If you are unsure you can check your loan at StudentAid.gov – as long as it shows Department of Education, you are eligible.
How do you get a waiver?
You don’t need to do anything, the process is automatic. The waivers will be applied retroactively to March 13th, so if you have made a payment in the meantime you can request a refund.
What If I Don’t Qualify?
If you are recently out of work you can apply for an income based repayment plan, as if your income has been reduced your payments can be lowered. In any case you can always call your lender to let them know your situation – they may be able to give you a hardship deferment, or come up with some other options to help you.