March 19, 2020
Aarthi Swaminathan, Yahoo Finance
In response to the coronavirus, U.S. President Donald Trump has just waived interest on all student loans.
“I am announcing the following emergency actions today: to help our students and their families, I’ve waived interest on all student loans held by federal government agencies and that will be until further notice,” he said during a press conference on Friday.
Experts reacted quickly, and they were divided on the announcement.
“Dealing with interest is an important start and I’m glad they recognized the need for action to help borrowers,” Ben Miller, vice president for postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress, told Yahoo Finance. “But they need to do more to make it easier for borrowers to pause payments, automatically prevent individuals from going delinquent, and immediately stop the seizure of tax refunds, security, and wages for defaulted loans.”
“No one should fall behind on their student debts because of this national crisis,” James Kvaal, former President Obama’s top higher education adviser, told Yahoo Finance. “Waiving interest is welcome, but the key question is whether students and parents can reduce or halt their monthly payments. Pausing payments and stopping punitive loan collections would give immediate relief to students and parents facing economic hardship and uncertainty.”
To be clear, Trump has not yet elaborated on how exactly this will take place, and whether this is for all loans or just for federal student debt, which one expert alluded to.
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First off, none of this would be possible without God. Jesus Christ! Wow… I can’t believe it. This doesn’t feel real, someone slap me, pinch me because this can’t be real ya’ll. I have really paid off my Fedloan student loan account. When starting this repayment journey 8 years ago, I thought I would die with my student loans. Below is an update of my student loan balance.
I would like to provide 7 tips that have helped me pay off Fedloan. I’m not out the woods yet, as I have one loan left to pay… Nelnet. Let’s get to the tips.
1. Grace Period is not a chill period.
Fedloan gave me 6 months of grace period. A Grace period is the length of time you are allowed to go without making your first loan payment. After securing my first job out of school, I didn’t think about interest accruing each month. Boy was I sorry for not paying towards my debt sooner, as my loan balance grew.
2. Get into a repayment plan that works for your situation.
I lost my job after 3 months and had a hard to finding work that matched that same pay. Quite frankly, no job have I had since has matched that pay. I’ve had to work multiple jobs to match it.
Therefore, my main jobs haven’t paid that well. So I’ve been in the IBR program for the last 8 years.
Your payment is reduced however you must renew year. Don’t forget to renew.
3. Pay as much as you can as often as you can.
To do so I lived like a college student, I didn’t eat out much, and didn’t take frequent vacations, it’s been 2 years since my last vacation. Anyways…As for myself, I used my tax return to pay the remaining balance of $4,333.13 from my Fedloan account. I count myself blessed to receive a tax return, as I know how difficult tax season can be for many people. My first year out of college, I owed 1,200. I cried for real yall. But I got through that uncomfortable time, and you can too. Please consult with an expert, because I am not a tax professional.
4. Pay every 2 weeks.
Don’t take my word for it, do an internet search for bi-weekly loan calculators. Use mortgage repayment calculators to see the impact of paying every two weeks.
5.Keep updated spreadsheet of balances.
Previous servicer ACS added an extra $200 in interest, instead of reducing my principal after 2nd payment of $200. You better believe I argued with them over the phone and email.
I may have said some nice so nice words. Forgive me….
6. With that said…Keep contact info current and stay in contact with servicers.
You may move or your loan may get transferred (Brazos transferred my loan to Fedloan, adding to the total)
It can be scary not knowing what’s going on. Especially if you have a payment due and the servicer can’t reach you.
7. Be aware of processing speeds.
Fedloan usually takes 2-3 business days to process payments. So I never pay my accounts on near the weekend such as Thursday/Friday or on the weekends. Doing so will help you avoid late fees. Yes, loan servicers charge late fees.
My debt is paid always on a Monday or Tuesday to give the servicer more than enough time throughout the week to process my payments.
I also never pay a loan account during holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, or New Year Eve or Day.
We all just get lazy around these times and want to relax. Right before a holiday break is the best time to send a payment, the workers are in a mad dash to get out of town.
Bonus Tip: Celebrate! As you pay your debt down, take a day off, treat yourself to a meal. Before I was married, I took myself out to many dinners and movies. You must be able to celebrate and love yourself for your accomplishments first, before others can. Now that I’m married with kids, I celebrated my Fedloan payoff by taking my daughter to the movies.