CARES Act Interest and Payment Freeze Extended to January 31st, 2021
The CARES Act halted both accruing interest and payments on all federal student loans as of March 13th, 2020. Loan statements should show 0% interest, and servicers have enacted the payment suspensions.
By recent Executive Order, and then again by the Dept. of Education, this payment and interest relief was extended through 01/31/2021 while we await a second stimulus package from Congress.
If you have made any loan payments through ACH since March 13, these payments are eligible for a refund by contacting the loan servicer.
Income-Driven Repayment plans that were set to renew during the loan suspension period have been extended for 12 months. No action is required on your part, but any borrower is welcome to recertify sooner proactively if they wish.
Similarly, anyone wishing to make loan payments during the freeze may do so manually. That said, it is not necessary to make payments for Public Service Loan Forgiveness as the payment freeze qualifies if you are meeting the other program requirements.
The CARES Act does NOT apply to private, institutional, most FFEL (2010 or earlier), Perkins and other non-Direct loans. Loans refinanced to a private lender (Sofi, Laurel Road, CommonBond, Splash, etc.) also are NOT eligible for the stimulus.