Logan Irwin, Correspondent
On Friday, Aug. 21, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos fully implemented a memorandum issued by President Donald Trump to pause federal student loan payments and set the federal student loan interest rate to 0 percent until 2021.
Any student in the United States who took out a loan for the fall semester will have their payments suspended until 2021 without any penalty, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Education. This decision was made in part due to the financial hardships placed on many families amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, students can continue their education and borrowers can enjoy relief from some of the financial stress many may be facing due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said DeVos. “We want everyone to be focused on a safe return to full-time learning. The President and I will continue to support the success of all students.”
This comes after action had already been extended at the start of the pandemic, and is listed under the CARES Act, which allows for those who borrowed money to pay students loans to be able to defer their payments without punishment.
“The extension of the borrower relief by President Trump only impacts students who have entered into repayment on their federal student loans,” said Jessica Wiggins, JSU’s director of financial aid. “If a student is currently enrolled at least half-time, they would not be in repayment on federal student loans. This relief automatically pauses payments on federal student loans with no interest through December 2020.”
“The standard repayment plan for federal student loans is 10 years, but there are many alternative repayment plans that borrowers can choose,” Wiggins continued.
When loan interest relief comes to an end in January of 2021, the interest from the loans that was decided prior to the extension period will pick back up and the monthly payments will resume again.
For more information on the various options, borrowers can visit the following website: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/repayment/plans.