The Department of Education has started early with notifying some federal student loan borrowers about the upcoming return to normal interest rates and payments. The initial student loan notification under the CARES Act started in August. It is still planned that each borrower will receive at least 6 notification of the restart between August 1 and October 1. The return to normal will begin on October 1 for all federal loan borrowers.
On July 30, the President announce the possibility of extending the federal student loan freeze on interest rates and payment for some additional time. As a second stimulus package is being consider, a student loan extension was not initially included but appears things are changing.
Here is a list of the current notification process that will officially start on August 1, if no extension is passed.
Types of Notification
The borrower will receive different types of notifications depending on what information is on file for each borrower. We would recommend that you log into the StudentAid.gov website and verify your email account and cell phone number listed for your account. You will need your FSA ID to get access to that information.
The most common notification will be email, text, and some phone calls.
Initial Email Notification
The initial email subject notification will state Your Student Loans: Current 0% Interest Is Not Permanent. The sender will be email@example.com. You may want to check your SPAM or Junk mail depending on your email privacy settings.
Return to Normalcy
Here are the major items that will begin on October 1 for all federal student loans:
- Federal Loan Interest rates will no longer be 0.
- Federal Loan Interest rates will return to the interest rates that were in effect on March 13.
- Loans will start being charged their stated interest rate depending on the loan type.
- Repayment of student loans will start using the March 13 data unless you made changes during the CARES Act period.
- Recertification of Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) methods will restart. IDR Recertification during the CARES Act time frame will have a 6-month extension from the original recertification date.
Reminder on Private Student Loans
These notifications are only related to your federal student loans. Some private lenders did offer some incentives during the March 13 to October 1 timeframe. If you have private loans your method of communication will be different. It is recommended that you contact them directly and verify which options you have.
Revisiting Your Federal Loan Repayment Options
These next 2 months may be a great time to revisit your student loan repayment plan. Since no payments are due until October, you have time to evaluate all your repayment options which could improve your financial future. The PayForED’s Student Loan RePayer provides a trusted second opinion on which options may work best for you. This is especially true for the married couple or the borrower trying to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
With interest rates at record lows, revisiting a private student loan refinancing could also be a great option. Unlike federal loans, private loans could have much lower rates since they are based on a borrower’s credit score and other factors. Most federals loans carry a market interest rate based on the issue date and do not adjust to current market interest rates.
Federal Student Loan Notification Summary
Over the next 2 months, the Department of Education will be notifying current borrowers about the return to normal conditions starting on October 1. Each borrower should receive at least 6 notifications. It is unlikely any extensions will be considered at this time regarding student loans.
All of this assuming there will not be an additional extension. We will keep you informed.
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