Many, but not all, student loan borrowers have been given relief from their student loans by virtue of the “CARES” Act, which frees borrowers from making payments on their loans until September 30, 2020; during this time, interest is set to zero, no payments are due, but the government will still count the skipped months towards total repayment options.
But there’s a HUGE loophole in the bill: not all federally-guaranteed student loans are eligible for the relief. To qualify, a loan must be not only guaranteed by the federal government, but actually owed to it. This leaves out a great many student borrowers whose loans were consolidated in the past, as some consolidation loans were made by private investors rather than the federal government.
You can find out if your loan is owned by the federal government by going to StudentAid.gov/login. Once you log into your account, go to the “view details” page, and navigate to “loan breakdown.” If, in that area, you see the words ‘DEPT OF ED’ then your loan is owned by the federal government, and you should be freed from making any payments from March 13, 2020 through September 30, 2020.
Other borrowers with federally-guaranteed but commercially-owned loans may be able to get a 3-month forbearance for disaster relief, but your servicer is not required to offer you one.
If you’re having trouble paying student loans, or believe you were wrongfully denied a forbearance or other relief, call one of our consumer lawyers today for a fee consultation.