Managing Student Loan Debt During COVID-19

Sep 3, 2021 9:30:00 AM

The pause on federal student loan repayments has been extended to January 31st, 2022. Make sure to join our partners at GreenPath on Wednesday, September 8th for a webinar on Minimizing the Costs of College!

As a recent college grad, it’s possible you face unexpected challenges related to the ongoing pandemic. But we’re here to remind you that it’s a time to celebrate!

An important chapter in your lives has come to a successful conclusion. You completed your education and are ready to start your career path, or perhaps you will continue post-graduate studies in your area of discipline. Congratulations! As you navigate paying down your student loan debt, our partners at GreenPath have some advice. 

Student Loan Debt and COVID

Along with the celebration, it’s also a time to understand what it takes when managing student loan debt through a challenging time.

It’s a reality that student loan debt will impact recent graduates. In fact, student loans currently account for over $1.56 Trillion of total consumer debt in the U.S—second only to home mortgages.

The other new reality is keeping track of regulations offering relief.

CARES Act and Student Debt

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress in March 2020.

With the new Biden Administration, the most recent extension suspends requirements to pay principal and interest on federally held student loans through January 31st, 2022. Note that the student loan relief provisions are limited to government-held student loans only, leaving out commercially held federal loans, Perkins loans, and private loans

The regulation suspends federal student loan payments, reduces interest rates on federal student loans to 0%, and pauses federal student loan debt collection on defaulted student loans. For those with government-held loans, the relief options offered give you a “breather” that many find useful.

But, what happens after the relief programs end?

Understand the Full Picture

Once temporary relief programs end, managing student loan debt is doable with the right information. When you understand repayment options — standard plans, extended plans, income-based plans and other payment options – you feel more in control.

To manage confusion that comes with changing regulations, student loan counseling from impartial and expert guidance has never been more important.

To take advantage of the best student loan payment plan for your specific situation, it’s helpful to get guidance from counselors who can review the makeup of your specific student loans and help you understand repayment plans.

As a recent article in HerMoney notes, there are specific steps to take for people struggling to pay student loans.

Student loan counselors can suggest ways to manage an individual situation if you are feeling overwhelmed when relief programs end.

Start a Conversation about Managing Student Loan Debt

You’ve completed an important milestone — congratulations are in order!

As you take your next steps, remember there are resources available when managing student loan debt.

A good place to start is with a free consultation from someone who has your interests at heart

Our NFCC-certified counselors help you begin a conversation about where you are today, and what you need to accomplish your goals.

We guide you to assess your financial situation related to student loans as well as your full financial picture and help create an action plan to move forward.

Tags: Student Finances, Debt Management, Banking Tips