As the federal pause on student loan repayment comes to a close, many borrowers are concerned about their ability to restart payments. However, there are options available to extend non-payment, apply for an income-driven repayment plan, apply for loan forgiveness, or receive a scholarship to assist with payments.
Student Loan Forgiveness
Although the Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s attempt to forgive up to $20,000 in student loans per qualifying borrower, there are other options for having debt forgiven. The most common method is through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program which results in full debt cancellation upon the completion of 120 payments under a qualified repayment plan, while employed by a federal, state, local, or tribal government or qualifying non-profit organization. Many CWA Local 1036 members work for a qualifying employer.
September 1st, 2023 – On this day, student loans will once again begin to accrue interest.
October 1st, 2023 – This day marks the end of the student loan payment freeze; borrowers will have to start making regular payments again from this point forward. It also marks the start of the Biden administration’s “On Ramp” Program.
September 30th, 2024 – This day marks the end of the Biden administration’s “On Ramp” Program.
The “On Ramp” Program
From October 1st, 2023 to September 30th, 2024, there will be a grace period to spare borrowers who cannot afford to restart payments from most consequences. During this period, missed, late, or partial payments will not be reported to credit agencies and will not impact overall credit scores. Borrowers will also avoid default and debt collection due to late, missed, or partial payments. Note that loans will continue to accrue interest during this period. Learn more about the “On Ramp” Program.
Income-Driven Repayment Plans
Income-driven repayment plans base borrowers’ monthly payments on their income and household size. Most recently, the Biden administration rolled out a beta application for the SAVE (Saving on a Valuable Education) Plan that can result in up to $1,000 of yearly savings for most borrowers, and even a monthly repayment plan of as low as $0 a month. Look into the income-driven repayment plan that’s right for you.
Apply for a Scholarship Through CWA Local 1036’s Education Committee
Local 1036 offers several annual scholarships of $2,000 to assist members and their families, including with student loan repayment. We offer both Spring and Fall scholarships, so check back in the coming weeks for information on how to apply.