5 Tips to Prepare for the Restart of Student Loan Repayment
Worried about returning to federal student loan repayment? The Washington Office of the Student Loan Advocate has put together a series of tips and action items so you can stay on top of your student loan game and be ready for when payments resume.
Tip #1: Update your contact information
Wrong contact information could make you miss important updates, like billing statements or due dates. Stay up to date by reviewing your contact information now on:
- Your StudentAid.gov profile
- Your loan servicer’s website
Bonus tip: Don’t know your loan servicer? To find out who your servicer is, visit your StudentAid.gov account dashboard and scroll down to the “My Loan Servicers” section.
Tip #2: Don't fall for student loan scams!
You should never be asked to pay for help with your federal student loans. Here are some signs to help you identify a scam by a student loan debt relief company:
- They require you to pay up-front or monthly fees for help
- They promise immediate and total loan forgiveness or cancellation
- They claim that their offer is limited and encourage you to act immediately
Bonus tip: Have questions or need help with your student loans? Contact your loan servicer or lender for FREE assistance. If you are a current Washington state resident, you can also reach out to the Washington Office of the Student Loan Advocate for help.
Tip #3: You have repayment options!
Your situation may have changed during the COVID-19 emergency. Now is a great time to think about whether you’re on the best repayment plan for you:
- Use Loan Simulator to explore your repayment options
- If you need to lower your monthly payment, consider applying for an Income-Driven Repayment Plan (IDR)
- Remember, you can change your repayment plan at any time!
Bonus tip: Are you already on an IDR plan, but your income decreased since the last time you applied? You can update (recertify) your info to see if you can get a new, lower payment amount. Recertify by following these steps.
Tip #4: Get out of default, now!
Do you currently have federal student loans in default? Or did you default your loans prior to the payment pause? Now is the time to act and get out of default through the Fresh Start program. Fresh Start takes you out of default and restores your access to federal student aid (loans and grants).
Ready to enroll in Fresh Start? Find out the 3 ways you can enroll in Fresh Start today.
Bonus tip: If you want to keep your monthly payments affordable once you enroll in Fresh Start, consider enrolling in an Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plan. When you call or sign up for Fresh Start online, it will automatically prompt you to enroll, making it even easier.
Tip #5: You may qualify for loan forgiveness!
You may qualify for other forgiveness options, including:
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
- Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF)
- Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) forgiveness
- Total and Permanent Disability Discharge
- Closed School Discharge
- and more
Learn about different types of loan cancellation and forgiveness.
Bonus tip: Did you know you can get closer to forgiveness under PSLF or IDR by taking advantage of the IDR Account Adjustment? Watch our webinar to learn more about how to maximize your benefits under this opportunity before December 31, 2023.
'Get Ready for Student Loan Repayment' Webinar
In this webinar, you will learn the steps you need to successfully navigate returning to student loan repayment. Some of the topics covered include:
- Steps to take to make sure you’re ready for repayment on September 1, 2023
- Overview of repayment options, including Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans
- Borrower rights and responsibilities
- Getting out of default
- Student debt and other financial life events
Get Ready for Student Loan Repayment
Wednesday, July 12th, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Presenter: Jessica M. Manfredi, Student Loan Advocate