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Student loan payments may not resume until August. Here’s what borrowers need to know

Betsy Mayotte, president of The Institute of Student Loan Advisors, warned borrowers to first understand the federal protections they’re giving up before they refinance.

For example, the Education Department allows you to postpone your bills without interest accruing if you can prove economic hardship. The government also offers loan forgiveness programs for teachers and public servants.

“Refinancing can generate a lower interest rate than federal student loan rates,” Mayotte said. “But your rate doesn’t matter if you lose your job, have sudden medical expenses, can’t afford your payments and find that defaulting is your only option.”