LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Student loan repayments start in October, and some are already receiving bills.
Step one to starting those payments is getting on the federal student aid site to make sure your information is up to date and find out your options.
“There are a lot more groups that are eligible for this loan forgiveness than there were before, so it actually makes sense for you to go check,” said Dr. Nancy Hubbard, Dean of the College of Business at University of Lynchburg. She says visiting the site is also important because if your contact info is out of date, you won’t know how much or when to pay.
Julia Bird works in Roanoke and says she got proactive about her repayments, and doing research learned about the SAVE plan.
“Based on my tax return and income, my payment is going to be zero,” she said. “I feel like a lot of my friends are in the same boat as me and don’t know about [SAVE] and I was so lucky that I just made that call one day and found out it was going to be a zero-dollar repayment.”
Dr. Hubbard says the income-based plan essentially restructures your loans.
“It extends your loans, so instead of it being a ten-year repayment, it’s 20 years, but the loan payments are lower,” she said. “In some cases, you don’t have any interest accruing you’re just paying the principle, and in some cases you’re paying nothing.”
Dr. Hubbard says borrowers have a year to ease into payments. The default moratorium, or what the government is calling the “on-ramp,” means you won’t be reported to credit reporting agencies if you miss a payment over the next 12 months. Keep in mind, your interest is still in effect.
Dr. Hubbard also warns that scams are likely to come out of the start of repayments, and people need to be wary of any business that promises to get their loan payments down to zero or pay off their loans for you.