Student loan interest to resume on Sept. 1

Published 10:08 am Thursday, August 31, 2023

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Since the U.S. Supreme Court voted down President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, millions of students will have to resume their student loan payments or risk going further into debt in the next few months.

Student loan interest will resume on Sept. 1, and borrowers’ payments will begin again in October, according to the Federal Student Aid. 

Lisa Branson, vice president for campaign relations at enrollmentFUEL, has worked with Point University on marketing and financial aid projects. Branson said in some ways, the student loan pause presented new challenges for borrowers who haven’t had to include it in their household budgets.

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“First things first, they’re going to have to go through and really think through what their household budgets look like and how they’re going to now fit this payment in,” Branson said.

About 20% of borrowers are those who have graduated since the pause and will be brand-new to making loan payments. 

There are ways to lessen the strain on their finances as they resume loan payments. Branson said borrowers with financial difficulties can apply for income-driven repayment plans.

“If students are having trouble making payments or former students graduates are having trouble making payments, they need to communicate that,” Branson said. 

However, students and borrowers need to know the right places to go for help. Branson said there are only two places where students should go: their institution or their loan guarantor. 

“Just because the student has graduated, that doesn’t mean that the connection with the school ends,” Branson said,

Relying on “third-party debt relief” can often lead to scams and additional unnecessary charges.

“I think as people go into repayment, there are going to be more and more of these people who are calling on the phone who aren’t the student loan guarantor, or the institution,” Branson said.

As for current students, Branson said they can avoid getting too far into debt by taking only what they need, even if they are offered more. 

“I’ve seen it a lot throughout my career where students have taken more than what they need,” Branson said. “They get sizable refunds and then, you know, aren’t really thinking about the long term consequences of that.”

Students should also research the type of loans they’re accepting. Some students with low income may be offered subsidized loans in addition to unsudsidized loans. These are loans that the government will pay the interest on as long as the borrower remains a full-time student.

Students can also make payments toward their interest while still in school to avoid adding to their principal.

There are some other tips borrowers can do to take action now and be fully prepared like:

  • Make sure their contact information is current.  
  • Compare affordable repayment plans. 
  • If you were already on an income-driven repayment plan, recertify early.
  • Check if you qualify for any student loan forgiveness programs. Some roles in government and nonprofit organizations qualify for loan forgiveness.
  • Enroll in autopay if you’re able to. Autopay can save borrowers 0.25% in interest. 
  • Find out the monthly payment.