Student Loan Assistance During COVID-19 Pandemic


Under the CARES Act, the following applies to federal loans  only:
  • 0% interest rate 
  • Suspension of payments
  • Suspension of garnishment of wages, Social Security benefits, and tax refunds.


For how long?

The protection has been extended to September 30, 2021.  


What do I need to do?

Nothing. The suspension of interest, payments, and garnishments is automatic.


Can I still make payments?

Yes. You can contact your servicer directly and make payments if you would like. 


Can I get a refund if I already made a payment after March 13, 2020?

Yes. You must contact your servicer - this is not automatc.


What types of loans are covered?

  • Defaulted and nondefaulted Direct Loans
  • Defaulted and nondefaulted FFEL Program loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans


Will suspended payments count toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)?

If you have a Direct Loan, were on a qualifying repayment plan prior to the suspension, and work full-time for a qualifying employer during the suspension, then you will receive credit toward PSLF for the period of suspension as though you made on-time monthly payments.


Does this apply to private student loans?

  • No. If your loan is not through the Department of Education (not federal), you must contact your loan servicer directly for any available options. 
Last Review and Update: Apr 26, 2021
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