COVID-19 Relief for Student Loan Borrowers

Last Updated: Monday, August 9, 2021

Alert:

Federal student loan flexibilities for the COVID-19 emergency have been extended through at least January 31, 2022. Visit StudentAid.gov/coronavirus for updates.

As we navigate the challenges posed by the spread of COVID-19, we remain committed to supporting borrowers. Should you have any questions about your loans and these relief efforts, or contact us for assistance.

0% Interest for Student Loans

  • The interest rate on all U.S. Department of Education (ED)-owned student loans serviced by FedLoan Servicing has been temporarily reduced to 0% through at least January 31, 2022.
  • FedLoan Servicing has automatically adjusted accounts so that interest doesn't accrue (i.e., accumulate). These adjustments became effective March 13, 2020.
  • This 0% interest rate change applies to all ED-owned loans in any status (in school, in grace, in repayment, in deferment/forbearance, etc.).

Temporary Suspension of Payments

  • FedLoan Servicing has automatically adjusted accounts to temporarily suspend payments.
  • This temporary suspension of payments is scheduled to last from March 13, 2020, through at least January 31, 2022.
  • A borrower can request that the suspension of payments be removed at any time. If this relief benefit is removed, billing will resume.

Payments

  • Any payments (Direct Debit or otherwise) processed from March 13, 2020, through at least January 31, 2022, can be refunded; refund requests can be made by contacting us.
  • Direct Debit payments are automatically paused while payments are temporarily suspended.
  • While payments are temporarily suspended and the interest rate is reduced to 0%, you still have the option to make manual payments (i.e., via or mobile app) on your loans in any amount to make progress toward reducing your balance.
View how payments are applied

NOTE: During the COVID-19 emergency suspension period, you are not required to make payments. However, if you choose to make payments, the information below outlines how your payments will be applied.

  • The full amount of your payments will be applied to principal once all the interest that accrued prior to March 13, 2020 is paid.
  • If you are not working toward PSLF, your loans are suspended, and you make a payment without providing payment instructions, any amount you pay will be applied to the loan with the highest interest rate. All loans currently have a 0% interest rate due to the COVID-19 emergency relief measures. For this reason, we determine the highest interest rate based on each loan's interest rate as of March 12, 2020 (before the relief measures went into effect). For loans disbursed after March 12, 2020, we use the initial interest rate. If more than one loan has the same highest interest rate, your additional payment will be applied to any unsubsidized loans proportionately based on the principal balance. If there are no unsubsidized loans with the same highest rate, your additional payment will be applied in the same manner to subsidized loans with the same highest rate.
  • If you are not working toward PSLF, requested removal of the suspension, and do not provide payment instructions, any amount you pay in excess of the total amount due will be applied to the loan with the highest interest rate. All loans currently have a 0% interest rate due to the COVID-19 emergency relief measures. For this reason, we determine the highest interest rate based on each loan's interest rate as of March 12, 2020 (before the relief measures went into effect). For loans disbursed after March 12, 2020, we use the initial interest rate. If more than one loan has the same highest interest rate, your additional payment will be applied to any unsubsidized loans proportionately based on the monthly amount due. If there are no unsubsidized loans with the same highest rate, your additional payment will be applied in the same manner to subsidized loans with the same highest rate.
  • If you are working toward PSLF, make a payment, and do not provide payment instructions, any payments made will be applied proportionately across your loans based on the monthly amount due or principal balance of each loan.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) & Income-Driven Repayment (IDR)

  • Borrowers with a Direct Loan, who work full-time for a qualifying employer during the suspension, will receive credit toward PSLF for the period of suspension as though on-time monthly payments were made.

    NOTE: Borrowers will be required to submit a Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) & Temporary Expanded PSLF (TEPSLF) Certification & Application (PSLF form) to certify employment for the suspended payments to qualify toward the 120 payments needed for forgiveness.

  • Borrowers currently on an IDR plan will have suspended payments count toward IDR forgiveness.

PSLF or IDR borrowers who made payments during the COVID-19 suspension:

The following options are available to you:

  • Receive a refund – if you made payments and now realize you didn’t have to, you can request a refund for all payments made since March 13, 2020.
  • Opt back in to the suspension of payments – if you have opted out of the suspension, you are able to put the forbearance back on your account to suspend payments through at least January 31, 2022.

To receive a refund and/or opt back in to the suspension of payments, please contact us.

If you do not want a refund, please see the Payment Processing Page for information on how your payments made during the COVID-19 suspension will be applied.

Federal Student Aid's coronavirus/COVID-19 web page is located at StudentAid.gov/coronavirus. The page includes information about relief to student loan borrowers, including those who have defaulted on their federal student loans. Please visit the page regularly for updates.