President Biden entered office and immediately extended the federal student loan payment holiday to help struggling debts. The suspension is extended through at least September 30, 2021.
And while this is a help for people struggling, this is also a great time to pay as much as you can towards your federal student loans.
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Every single dollar you pay will go towards reducing the balance you owe and this can shorten the amount of time it would have taken to repay the loans.
This is what the Department of Education specifically says about this.
“If I make loan payments during the 0% interest period, how will they be applied? During the period of 0% interest (beginning March 13, 2020), the full amount of your payments will be applied to principal once all the interest that accrued prior to March 13 and any fees (for defaulted loans) are paid.”
Like every other piece of legislation, there are details to be aware of. In this case, it is that not every loan is covered by the CARES Act payment holiday.
The suspension of interest and collections activity does not apply to private student loans and it does not apply to some FFEL Program and HEAL federal student loans owned by commercial lenders, or Perkins Loans owned by the institution you attended.
For specific advice, if your federal student loans are covered by this 0% opportunity to pay down the balance super-fast, contact your loan servicer. If you do not know who your servicer is or how to contact them, visit StudentAid.gov/login or call us at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243; TTY for the deaf or hearing-impaired 1-800-730-8913) for assistance.
For direct advice from the Department of Education see this page.