PSLF, Covid, and REFUNDS!
Federal Student Loans Payments Suspended Due to Covid-19
In the spring of 2020, the Department of Education suspended federal student loan payments due to the burgeoning Covid-19 pandemic. Borrowers were not required to make their normal payments, interest would not accrue, and income certification dates were extended. For those pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness, there was an added benefit: months during the payment suspension would count towards their 120 qualifying payments to receive forgiveness.
Some Continue to Make Payments on Student Loans
For various reasons, some borrowers have continued to make payments during the pandemic. Those not pursuing PSLF, and who can afford to make their payments, have been able to make extra progress against their principal since interest is not accruing. Others have had to make payments out of specific necessities, such as buying a house, in which having a current monthly payment amount is essential to allow your mortgage lender to accurately calculate how much you can afford. If you belong to this latter group of people and the particular reason you needed to continue making payments no longer applies, you don’t have to keep paying!
Opt Back In to Suspension & Getting Student Loan Payments Refunded
There’s no rule that says that once you opt out of the student loan payment suspension you can’t opt back in. Sometimes we “set it and forget it” with student loans, but this is a time when you really don’t want to do that! Not only can you opt back in, you may also be eligible to get the payments that you made refunded! All it takes is a simple call or email to FedLoan (or MOHELA, if your servicer has already switched over to them). Since the Dept. of Ed. has renewed the payment suspension several times, you are under no obligation to keep paying Direct loans. Further, even if you get a refund for the payments you made, those months will continue to count towards your qualifying payments for PSLF, regardless.
Don’t wait! As FedLoan and MOHELA get busier with transitioning servicers for PSLF pursuant, response times may slow down. Take action now before they get too busy!
If you’re pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness and you haven’t met with us yet, schedule your free 15-minute Discovery Session to find out if you qualify for PSLF, or what you can do if you don’t.