The Student Loan Deferment Program Is ENDING. Here’s What You Need To Know
(StraightNews.org) – The American government has extended the student loan forbearance several times as students and former students have been struggling to make ends meet in the wake of the pandemic. At this time, the government has extended until August 31, 2022. As of September, many students will have to figure out how to manage their student loan payments. While the national unemployment rates continue to drop, many people are still underemployed or otherwise struggling to make ends meet.
The Basics of Student Loan Deferment
The initial stages of the pandemic caused a substantial dip in employment and considerable financial struggles for Americans. In response, the government created many programs to help get people back on their feet. One of these programs, designed to help students, paused student loan payments and interest until the program expires. For months now, students haven’t had to make payments on their loans, freeing them up to focus on other essential needs. This program has likely been extended for the last time and is expected to end on August 31.
What Happens when the Student Loan Deferment Program Ends
As the deferment program ends, there are several important things to keep in mind.
Your student loan payments will most likely be the same as they were when the payments were paused unless you have made changes to your loans.
Were you set up for automatic payments on your student loans before the deferment? If your details haven’t changed, your payments will resume at their usual schedule.
The interest rates on your loan will resume at the same level they were when your loan was paused or placed in forbearance.
Check with your lender to confirm your details.
Since it has been almost two years since the last time most people made a payment on their student loans, it is a good idea to start by confirming some crucial details.
- Find out how much your payments will be
- When your payments are due or will be drafted from your account (not all payments are due at the same time)
- How much you have left to pay on your loan
Check your current budget
For most Americans, budgets have shifted considerably due to the pandemic. Spending has moved from luxuries to necessities as people have begun to prioritize different things. Several things may be impacting your budget, such as a shift in your living situation (11% of adults moved during the first year of the pandemic). Inflation may have caused you to change how you budget and plan for your overall spending. Double-check your current budget and ensure your student loan payment will fit into it.
Talk to your lender about your options
The student loan deferments ending could spell problems for adults struggling with their budgets. While you can no longer defer your payments and interest, you may have other options that could reduce your overall financial burden. These can include:
Reducing payments based on income
Most student loan programs allow you to make payments based on your current financial status, though this may cause your interest rates to go up.
Refinancing your student loans can decrease your interest rates or payments. Your financial status may be better now than when your loans were first taken, allowing you to get better rates.
If you are like a lot of Americans, you may be struggling with debt in addition to your student loans. Consolidating all of your debt can not only bring down your monthly payments but also make it easier to keep track of your debt as it will all be in one place.
Student Loan Forgiveness
You may qualify for student loan forgiveness in some cases. To apply, you have to have made payments for up to 120 consecutive months, spend time working at a qualifying non-profit, or teach at a low-income school for a certain length of time.
The end of the student loan deferment programs can mean an increased financial struggle for many Americans. Proper planning can decrease the risk and set yourself up for financial success.
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