TISLA in the News
‘It’s like Christmas, birthday, and Arbor Day all together’: Student loan expert says scammers are waiting to trick you
This is the government website for student loans. Any information you need about your loan is going to be there.
“You never have to pay for student loan help. And paying someone for student loan help is not going to get you access to a program that you wouldn’t normally be eligible for or get you the benefit faster,” said Mayotte.
When you go to StudentAid.gov you’ll want to do these 4 things:
#1 Update your profile and contact information on your loan servicer’s website and your StudentAid.gov profile. This is going to make sure you know who your loan servicer is (many loans were transferred to different companies over the last three years) and your loan servicer is the one who has the information on what your payment is expected to be and when it will be due.
#2 Review your payment enrollment or sign-up. Your banking info may have changed, so double-check this.
#3 Look at the loan simulator and find a repayment plan that works for you.
#4 Would an Income-Driven Repayment plan help?You can look at applying for an IDR.
As student loan repayments are set to restart, the Education Department looks to ease the transition
The Department of Education just announced that for the first year after payments restart, borrowers who fall behind won’t be penalized.
More than 43 million people have federal student loans and most haven’t had to pay them since the spring of 2020.
“We’ve taken all these people that were in the habit of making their payment out of the habit,” said Betsy Mayotte at the nonprofit Institute of Student Loan Advisors. She says that’s one reason she’s been concerned that the number of people who go into delinquency or default might spike when payments restart.
What if you can’t pay back your student loans when payments start again? These are your options.
Borrowers can use the Loan Simulator on the Department of Education’s website to compare their payment options, said Betsy Mayotte, the president of the Institute for Student Loan Advisors, a nonprofit that helps borrowers manage their student loans. Her organization’s website also offers a tool for borrowers to get a sense of what they would pay under different payment plans, Mayotte said.
“Borrowers can do a lot of self-help these days because of the various tools that are available online,” she said.
If you find an income-driven repayment plan, or a program that ties your loan payment to your income and not your balance, you can also apply for the plan online on your servicer’s website, Mayotte said.
“If the borrower is eligible for the plan the servicer can’t deny them and if they submit the application they’ll be approved for it,” she said.
Have student loan debt? These are your next three steps
Betsy Mayotte said you need to know where your loans are. During the COVID pause, Mayotte said 17 million borrower accounts changed servicers. Go to the Dept. of Education’s website, StudentAid.gov to find out where you debt is.
One you know your loan servicer, make sure they have all of your up-to-date contact information.
“Start opening all the things: snail mail, email, take the call from servicer because you don’t want to miss any important deadlines that might be coming up,” Mayotte said.
Mayotte said you need to find out what your payment is going to be and if you can afford it.
“Take a look at what that student loan is going to be. If it’s not affordable, start looking into the existing lower payment options and possibly apply for one that’s going to best meet your financial goals and budget,” Mayotte said.
Supreme Court Strikes Down Student Debt Cancellation. Now What?
The Supreme Court has blocked President Joe Biden’s student loan debt relief plan, saying his administration lacked authorization under the HEROES Act to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt per borrower.
Some 43 million borrowers won’t see a cent of the debt cancellation promised by the White House last year. Under current guidance from the Education Department, borrowers must get ready to resume student loan payments starting in October on their full student loan balance.
On Friday afternoon, Biden announced that his administration was pursuing a student debt cancellation plan B. This route leans on a different legal avenue than the one struck down by the Supreme Court, and the process could take a year or longer. But a plan B remains far from guaranteed, and there is no timeline yet. Take steps to prepare for repayment now.
“Now that we have the decision, we can move forward,” says Betsy Mayotte, president and founder of The Institute of Student Loan Advisors. “There are a lot of borrowers who have been in limbo waiting to see what was going to happen.”
Indy Explains: What Nevadans should know as student loan pause expires
Betsy Mayotte, the president of the Institute of Student Loan Advisors, a nonprofit that provides free student loan advice, said one of the biggest challenges will be ensuring borrowers know about the administrative work required to smoothly transition back to making payments.
Mayotte said about 17 million accounts have changed servicers during the pandemic, meaning that all borrowers should log onto the Department of Education’s website to first see who holds their loans.
Secondly, they need to ensure that all of their contact information is up to date — particularly if they’ve moved or graduated since their last payment. Federal loan information can be updated with the Department of Education; Castro and Mayotte said those with private loans should react out directly to their servicers. In either case, borrowers should monitor their inbox and mail for communications on their new due dates.
Here’s how to prepare to start paying back your student loans when the pandemic payment freeze ends
Mayotte recommends borrowers use the loan-simulator tool at StudentAid.gov or the one on TISLA’s website to find a payment plan that best fits their needs. The calculators tell you what your monthly payment would be under each available plan, as well as your long-term costs.
“I really want to emphasize the long-term,” Mayotte said.
Sometimes, when borrowers are in a financial bind, they’ll choose the option with the lowest monthly payment, which can cost more over the life of the loan, Mayotte said. Rather than “setting it and forgetting it,” she encourages borrowers to reevaluate when their financial situation improves.