TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The pause on federal student loans is ending meaning borrowers will be required to once again start making monthly loan payments in October for the first time since the pandemic.
“Who doesn’t want to not have to repay back student loans and not be in debt for a few years,” Shelbie Bryant said when asked if student loan forgiveness crossed her mind when making choices regarding college.
On September 1 interest once again began accruing on federal student loans. That comes as COVID-19 relief ends and payments for those loans are set to resume in October. Exact due dates are determined by the borrower’s lender.
Studentaid.gov said lenders should notify borrowers at least 21 days before the due date.
Several borrowers, once approved for forgiveness under the Biden Administration, will now be expected to pay up.
Sara Monday, Associate Director of Client Services for Indiana State University’s Financial Aid Office said, “If you already have a payment plan in place, contact them and make sure that payment plan’s still the best for you. Maybe there’s a better one out there.”
In August, ‘SAVE’ plan applications opened. SAVE or ‘Saving on A Valuable Education’ plan is an income-driven repayment program.
“They put out a nice little chart on studentaid.gov it’s going to look at income and household size and a lot of it has to where you might not have to pay anything. Your payments would be zero. Doesn’t mean that you’re not accruing interest,” Monday said.
According to a June press release from the White House, SAVE is said to be the most affordable repayment plan ever created.
In addition, the press release states that the Department of Education is instituting a 12 month “on-ramp” period. That means, financially vulnerable borrowers who miss monthly payments during this period are not considered delinquent.
“For the next year, if for some reason you can’t make a payment, it’s not going to go against your credit, it’s going to still accrue interest, the payments still due, but if for some reason you’re not able to make that payment, it’s not going to ding your credit and be a detriment to you,” Monday said.
The on-ramp runs from October 1 until September 30, 2024. Borrowers do not need to take any action to qualify for the on-ramp but borrowers who can pay should plan to do so.
Monday advises checking in with your loan servicer once a year, “Because your life changes from year to year. For the good, for the bad, whatever it is, to make sure you have the best option.”
While Shelbie has some time before her student loans will come due, she said she receives emails from the Federal Government every couple of months, “And so they’re just kind of reminding you, ‘hey, you’re eventually going to have to pay this back, start budgeting now.”
Shelbie’s advice to those starting college is to learn to budget now, so you’ll be ready when loans start coming due.