The Money Coach
You don't have to pay your Student Loan - for now...
The historic stimulus package Congress passed grants the millions of Americans with federal student loans a break from their payments for at least six months.
Under the $2 trillion bill, federal student loan borrowers won’t have to make a payment toward their debt until this October. Any interest that accrues during the suspension will be waived. And even if a borrower isn’t making payments during the reprieve, the time will still count toward the government’s forgiveness programs, if he or she is pursuing one, such as public service loan forgiveness.
The six-month break is automatic, meaning borrowers won’t need to contact their student loan servicer to request it.
Collection practices, such as seizing defaulted federal student loan borrowers’ tax refunds and Social Security checks, will also cease throughout the public health crisis, delivering relief to the roughly 9 million borrowers in default, or those who haven’t made a payment in a year or more. (The U.S. Department of Education also announced this week that it would refund any money it had already collected from past-due borrowers during the pandemic, estimating that would help some 830,000 people.)
There’s a provision in the stimulus package that says employers wouldn’t have to pay taxes on financial assistance they give to their employees for their student debt, though it only lasts until the end of the year.