Are you ready for student loan payments to resume in 2023?
If you currently have federal student loan debt to repay, you’ve been fortunate to have your payments and interest accrual paused for more than three years as a result of COVID-19 emergency relief. The most recent extension of the loan pause is ending soon and payment on student loans will restart as soon as September 1, 2023. Here are four important steps to take BEFORE payments resume.
1. Know your current loan servicer and have an active account and log in
Many borrowers with federal student loans may have had their servicer change during the payment pause. It’s important to make sure you know who your loan servicer is and have access to your online servicer account. You can find out the name of your current loan servicer on StudentAid.gov on your account dashboard. If your loan has been transferred to a new servicer, be sure to register and create a new account as soon as possible.
2. Update your contact information
Under the terms of the student loan promissory notes, you are legally responsible to keep your contact information current so that both the Department of Education and your loan servicer can reach you. This includes your email and mailing address, as well as your phone number. You can update your contact information through your loan servicer.
Once the payment pause ends, be on the lookout for a billing statement that includes your payment due date, payment amount and upcoming interest from your loan servicer. If you don’t receive a statement, it could be an indication that your servicer does not have your most recent contact information.
3. Understand your loan repayment options
Your financial situation may have changed during COVID-19 and there may be a better repayment plan available for your current situation. You may be eligible for a lower monthly payment through an Income-Driven Repayment plan (IDR).
IDR plans are designed to reduce your monthly payment amount based on your loan type(s), income, and family situation. When paired with the Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, you could be eligible to eliminate your remaining loan balance after making 120 qualifying payments on an IDR plan.
4. Get on track for loan forgiveness
Whether or not you currently participate in the PSLF program, now is the time to confirm your eligibility and apply before payments resume.
The time during the payment pause counts towards Public Service Loan Forgiveness and eligible borrowers have the potential to receive credits toward the 120 needed to achieve full forgiveness of their eligible loan balance. Borrowers should make sure they have completed an Employer Certification Form (ECF) for their employment during the payment pause to receive the PSLF credits. For employer verification of program eligibility, email HROpsServices@email.wustl.edu.
Student debt relief is easier with TIAA and Savi
WashU employees and family members have access to a financial wellness benefit, brought to you by TIAA and provided by Savi, that helps you navigate the complexities of the Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Savi provides a free assessment to help you find the best repayment plans to reduce your monthly payments and search more than 150 state and federal forgiveness programs based on your financial situation. For $60 per year, you can enroll in Savi’s Essential service. Savi will administer the program’s ongoing paperwork requirements including annual re-enrollment, employer certifications, and filing for PSLF credits on your behalf.
How can I learn more?
Join an upcoming Savi webinar. Visit tiaa.org/wustl/student to register and find the answers to all your questions:
- Am I on the best loan repayment plan?
- Do I qualify for PSLF?
- What must I do to prepare for when loan payments resume?
- Are there any new program/legislative changes I should be aware of?
- How can I sign up for Savi?
Additional resources are available on WashU’s Financial Well-Being Hub.
The original article was provided with permission by TIAA.