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Student Loan Hardship Programs

Federal Student Loans

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress in March automatically suspended payments on direct loans, Perkins loans and Federal Family Education Loans from March 13, 2020 through September 30, 2020. Interest will not accrue on these accounts during this period. The legislation applies only to those student loans owned by the federal government.

According to the Department of Education, if you have an auto-debit set up to make your payments, those payments will be suspended through September 30th, 2020. You do not need to do anything to stop them, saving you time from stopping them and setting them up again in October when payments are due.

You have the option to continue payments during this time if you are financially able. Borrowers can make their regular payment amount or even a smaller amount. With 0% interest, borrowers can make progress paying down their loan faster. If you would like to keep your auto-debit, you must contact your loan servicer to opt-out of the forbearance.

  • Interest will not accrue on federal student loans from April through September 30 and no payments must be made.
  • Even though payments are suspended during this time period, the Department of Education will treat it as if the borrower made a payment toward public service loan forgiveness or other forgiveness programs.
  • Borrowers who are in loan rehabilitation programs will also have the suspension period count toward rehabilitation. These programs are for borrowers working to pull their loans out of default.
  • Credit reports and scores will not be impacted during the suspension of payments period.
  • Wage garnishment and tax refund seizures will be halted during the forbearance period.

Federal Loan Servicers

CornerStone - 1-800-663-1662

FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA) - 1-800-699-2908

Granite State – GSMR - 1-888-556-0022

Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc. - 1-800-236-4300

HESC/Edfinancial - 1-855-337-6884

MOHELA - 1-888-866-4352

Navient - 1-800-722-1300

Nelnet - 1-888-486-4722

OSLA Servicing - 1-866-264-9762

ECSI - 1-866-313-3797

Private Student Loans

The six-month student loan payment deferment program enacted by Congress last month does not apply to student loans originated and serviced by private lenders; however, many lenders are offering flexible payment options to their borrowers.

Access Group Access Group is handling payment assistance on a case-by-case basis. You can contact Firstmark (Access Group's servicer) to discuss forbearance options at 888-538-7378

Advantage Education Loan If you've been financially impacted by the coronavirus, Advantage Education Loan will offer disaster forbearance for up to 90 days. Call 1 (800) 693-8220 to set up forbearance.

Citizens Bank You can apply for payment assistance through Citizens Bank for up to 90 days. You will not pay late fees, and the bank will not report late or missed payments to credit bureau agencies. 1-866-259-3767

College Ave You may qualify for disaster forbearance through College Ave for up to three consecutive months, but interest will continue to accrue. If you're already enrolled in auto pay, you will keep receiving the auto pay interest rate discount even while payments are paused. To enroll in disaster forbearance, send an email to servicing@collegeave.zendesk.com. College Ave is aiming to respond to these emails within five business days.

CommonBond You can apply for natural disaster forbearance through CommonBond. Your student loan forbearance will last as long as the coronavirus is declared a national emergency. Interest will keep accruing, but CommonBond will waive late fees. Call 800-975-7812 or email care@commonbond.com

Discover Discover is offering payment assistance for private student loans, but the company has not published details. Call 1 (800) STUDENT to speak with a representative.

Earnest You can apply for disaster forbearance through Earnest for up to three months, but interest will continue to accrue. You can expect to hear back within 10 business days after you submit your request.

Education Loan Finance Education Loan Finance is offering student loan payment assistance on a case-by-case basis. You can call 1 (844) 601-ELFI or email answers@ELFI.com to discuss your situation.

iHelp iHelp is providing national emergency forbearance if you have not already defaulted on your student loans. Contact your iHelp representative to discuss your financial situation. Call 800-592-1270 or email service@slfc.com

Laurel Road You may qualify for a payment extension or forbearance through Laurel Road. You can call MOHELA (Laurel Road's servicer) at 1 (877) 292-6845 to discuss payment options.

LendKey Lendkey is handling payment assistance on a case-by-case basis. Contact the team by emailing care@lendkey.com.

MEFA MEFA is offering payment assistance but does not provide details on its website. You can call MEFA's servicer, AES, at 1 (800) 233-0557 to discuss your financial situation.

Navient If you have private student loans through Navient, you can request disaster forbearance for up to three months. Remember that interest will continue to accrue during the forbearance period. You may apply for Navient's Rate Reduction Program, which decreases your interest rate and monthly payment. Or you can ask Navient about its Interest Only Program or Extended Repayment Program. Call 888-272-5543 for more information.

Navy Federal Credit Union Navy Federal Credit Union is offering forbearance for up to three months, although interest will continue to accrue. Discuss your situation with a representative by calling 1 (877) 304-9302.

PNC You may be able to postpone or modify your payments through PNC. Call 1-800-233-0557 to discuss your situation with a representative.

Prodigy Finance You can apply for forbearance for up to three months through Prodigy Finance, but interest will continue to accrue. If you were on time or ahead of schedule with your payments before applying for forbearance due to the coronavirus, Prodigy will keep reporting your payments as on time to credit bureaus. You can contact Prodigy about forbearance by sending an email to payments@prodigyfinance.com.

RISLA RISLA hasn't published details about payment assistance, but you can contact a representative at 1 (888) 758-7562 to discuss your options.

Sallie Mae Sallie Mae is offering payment assistance for those affected by the coronavirus. You can speak to an agent about your options via online chat (www.salliemae.com) or call 800-472-5543.

SoFi SoFi encourages you to apply for deferral if you can't make your next payment. If you continue to face financial hardship, the company will work with you to continue assistance. Remember that interest will continue to accrue and the term of your loan will lengthen. Call (855) 456-SOFI (7634)

Wells Fargo Wells Fargo is offering payment assistance on a case-by-case basis. Contact Wells Fargo to discuss your financial situation at 1-800-658-3567.