Student Loan Repayment & Debt Relief Updates

 

Loan Repayment Pause Ending

Due to the COVID national emergency, student loan repayment has been paused since 2020. The pause ends in September 2023. The first payment in over 3 years will be due in October 2023 and borrowers will begin to see bills as early as September 2023. The monthly payment amount will depend upon the repayment plan selected by the borrower and will be included on the bill. Borrowers should be on the lookout for notices, especially if there has been a change in contact information since early 2020. Borrowers that are unsure of which company services their loan can find that information in the Federal Student Aid account at under “My Loan Servicers” or by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-433-3243. The Financial Aid Office is available to assist you with retrieving this information. If you are having trouble adjusting to student loan payments, please work with your servicer as soon as possible. You may be eligible for an income-driven repayment plan, a deferment, or forbearance. Your servicer will review all options to avoid defaulting on your student loan. Borrowers that default on a student loan may experience garnished wages, withholding of tax returns or federal benefit payments, loss of the ability to purchase or sell assets such as real estate, court appearances, and poor credit ratings. In addition to the consequences on the borrower, future students at your university may experience delays or limits in federal aid opportunities.

 


 

 

 

What opportunities exist for loan forgiveness?

The U.S. Department of Education has implemented some changes that allow for additional borrowers to qualify for PSLF. Borrowers who meet the following conditions may be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness:

  • Employed by a federal, state, local or tribal government or qualifying not-for-profit organization;
  • Work full time for that agency;
  • Have Direct Loans;
  • Repay those loans under an income-driven repayment plan or a Standard Repayment Plan; and
  • Make a total of 120 qualifying monthly payments

To apply for PSLF, submit a using the PSLF Help Tool. Eligible borrowers can receive
forgiveness on the remaining balance on Direct Loans.

The Biden-Harris Administration implemented automatic loan relief under fixes to the Income Driven Repayment (IDR) plans. Over 800,000 borrowers had $39 billion in Federal student loans that will be discharged in the upcoming weeks. Alaska had 970 borrowers and $51 million discharged. The discharges are a result of the U.S. Department of Education redetermining eligibility for loan forgiveness for borrowers that had met the conditions of the IDR plan. For more information, please review the Department’s press release.

The U.S. Department of Education has released final regulations to create a more affordable loan
repayment plan, the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan. The SAVE plan will cut payments on
undergraduate loans in half, compared with IDR plans. This will allow borrowers to have more of their
income protected for basic needs while limiting the growth on the loan debt. Borrowers will be able to
enroll in the SAVE plan later this summer.

 


 

Be Aware

During a time of student loan changes and confusion, it's important for borrowers to know who their servicer is. Find your servicer at and make sure they have your updated contact information. Beware of scams. Your servicer or the U.S. Department of Education will never charge a fee to review your eligibility for programs or to help set up your repayment process. If you’re unsure where to start, don’t hesitate to contact the Financial Aid Office at uaf-financialaid@alaska.edu or 907-474-7256.