BRANSON, Mo. — Due dates for student loan payments are quickly approaching for more than 40 million Americans.
Federal Student Loan payments have been frozen at 0% interest since March 2020 under the Cares Act. However, interest is set to return to student loans in October and one financial advisor says the time to prepare is now.
“September 30th is actually the last day that it’s in place for the flexibilities due to the Coronavirus pandemic,” said Kim Cary. “So October 1 is when student loans will go into repayment.”
Cary is the director of Financial Aid for Ozarks Technical Community College.
“It would be my recommendation to make sure that you are going out and identifying who is actually servicing your loans,” said Cary.
Cary says now is the time to sign in to your account and verify your contact information.
“Lenders will communicate about 14 to 21 days prior to their payment being due,” said Cary.
Even though payments have been suspended for months that doesn’t mean your monthly payments won’t go up when they restart.
“Depending on the type of repayment plan you were a part of going into this forbearance could change the monthly payment coming out on the other side,” said Cary. “So if you were in a standard payment, for instance, it might change the length of time and the monthly payment.”
To make matters worse, Cary says there’s a lot of student loan scammers to watch out for.
“We want to make sure that students remember that this type of assistance is free through the federal student aid program and you should never have to pay for repayment options,” said Cary.
Students can visit the Federal Student Aid website for additional information.
“And they can see how much they owe,” said Cary. “They can kind of get an idea using their income right now and how much it might’ve changed during this pandemic to figure out what that monthly payment might be and it will give them a step up in preparing for that.”