In response to the current economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump announced on Friday March 20 that the Department of Education would allow anyone with student loan debt to take a 60-day break (at least) for monthly payments. – without interest or penalties.
“Probably a lot of the students will be extremely happy, some probably not,” Trump said. “Those who work hard, maybe not, but it’s one of those things. Very unfortunate circumstances.
In a press release, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called the measure a response to “anxious times, especially for students and families whose studies, careers and lives have been disrupted.” Right now everyone should focus on safety and health, regardless of their student loan balance increasing. I commend President Trump for his swift action on this issue, and I hope it will provide meaningful help and peace of mind to those in need. “
Currently, Americans collectively hold $ 1.56 trillion in student loan debt. Interest rates on all federally owned student loans will drop to zero until at least May 12, according to Politico. It comes one week after Trump declared a national emergency and said the government would waive interest on all student loans held by federal agencies for the time being.
But you don’t automatically get the 60-day suspension: first, you’ll need to apply to your loan officers over the phone or online. However, if you are already a month or more behind on your payments, the administration will automatically grant you a 60-day stay.
“Some borrowers may want to continue making payments, such as those requesting a Public Service Loan Discount (PSLF) or those enrolled in a repayment plan with a manageable monthly payment,” the department’s statement said. education. “The department will work closely with Congress to ensure that all student borrowers, including those on income-tested repayment plans, receive the support needed during this emergency. “
MTV News has contacted the Department of Education for advice on what borrowers should do if they are unable to contact their service agent. When a staff member tried to call their loan provider, they scrolled through several menus only to end up with an automatic check-in: the office was closed to mitigate the threat of COVID-19.