Student loan forbearance extension: What borrowers should know

The payment pause on federal student loans has been extended until May 1, 2022, President Joe Biden announced Wednesday. This decision comes after calls from prominent Democrat lawmakers like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urging the president to postpone repayment amid economic uncertainty surrounding the omicron variant.

But with millions of loans being transferred to new servicers, there are a few things federal student loan borrowers should know. Keep reading to learn more about the return of federal student loan payments, including your alternative debt repayment options like refinancing.

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How is the student loan payment restart going to work?

When federal student loan payments resume in May, the process will work similarly to how it did before the COVID-19 forbearance period. Still, there are a few things you should do to make sure you’re prepared:

Update your contact information. If you haven’t yet received communications from the Department of Education about payments restarting, make sure your phone number, email and address are up-to-date with your loan servicer. That way, you don’t miss any important updates about your loans.

Opt back into an automatic repayment plan. Student loan borrowers who were enrolled in automatic payments before the pandemic forbearance period will need to opt in again through their student loan servicer or risk missing their first loan payment in February.

Determine your loan servicer. Millions of student loan borrowers have had their loans automatically transferred to a new student loan servicer after several large companies have exited the industry (Navient, FedLoan Servicing and Granite State Management & Resources, to name a few)...Read more>>