Student loan borrowers asked to plan as payment pause approaches end date

Payments automatically stopped from March 13, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2020
Taylor Mosley is a 2020 graduate of UM-Flint. She's concerned about paying back student loans...
Taylor Mosley is a 2020 graduate of UM-Flint. She's concerned about paying back student loans as the coronavirus pandemic rages on.(ABC12 News)
Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 11:10 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Federal student loan borrowers are being asked to plan ahead for when this period of administrative forbearance inevitably ends.

Direct Loans and FFEL program loans payments are suspended through September 30, and there is also 0 interest accruing on those loans -- a result of the CARES Act.

In a message Tuesday, the Department of Education said these borrowers will receive six notifications over the next few months about post-forbearance options. However, recent UM-Flint graduate Taylor Mosley would like to see more expansive options for borrowers beyond September.

“It would be nice if they waited until things cleared up with the pandemic, gave us a chance to get on our feet a little bit,” Mosley said.

Mosley is employed but not working in the field she studied or making the income she would like.

“It’s been terrible finding a job, and I think it’s mainly because we’re in a pandemic,” she said.

Mott Community College's Executive Director of Financial Aid says it's a similar story everywhere.

“With all of us there’s so much uncertainty in the air. Is COVID going to spike again? What does that mean for people trying to find jobs,” Richard Boruszewski said. “I’ve talked to a lot of students from different areas in different schools that had opportunities lined up, and they closed down. They weren’t able to do it.”

The note from the Department of Education asks borrowers to visit to answer frequently asked questions about which loans qualify for the 0-percent rate, what happens to auto-debit payments if you do nothing and how you’ll know when to start making payments again.

“I’ve been in financial aid now going on 30 years, and there’s never been anything like this, as far as trying to help the students get through this gap, and it’s not just students, parent loans were forbeared, too,” Boruszewski said.

“It would be different if we were still working during this time and able to save money so we could be prepared for the student loans but it’s like a lose-lose,” Mosley said.

But Boruszewski says it’s important to remember that when September 30 gets here you have other options.

“Everyone wants you to be able to make those payments, and they’re going to help you through it,” he said. “So keep that in mind as you get this information and go through these scary times. There are people there to help you.”

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