After months of financial relief amid the pandemic, the time has come for many students to face the reality of resuming their student loan payments. The pause on federal student loan repayments was a vital lifeline for millions, providing much-needed breathing room during uncertain times. However, as the economy slowly recovers and the job market improves, the U.S. Department of Education has announced the end of the suspension, bringing back the responsibility of loan repayment.
According to the Department of Education, student loan borrowers must begin making payments again in October. In partnership with our educational partner, GreenPath, Choice One Community Credit Union has many resources to help members in navigating student loan payment resumption. We also offer tips on better preparing for October, when repayment will officially begin.
Choice One Student Loan Payment Resumption Resources
- Recorded Webinar: It’s Time to Prepare for Student Loan Payments to Resume – Tap for additional information or to watch this previously recorded webinar. This informational tool will provide you with actions you can take now to prepare for student loan payments to resume in October. Anyone with student loans looking for guidance regarding the resumption of payments will find it helpful.
- Take These Steps with Your Student Loan Guide – Access our informative article to guide you along the steps you can take now to better prepare for repayment.
- Budgeting Worksheet – Is your budget ready to tackle your student loan repayment? Take advantage of our handy online budgeting worksheet to calculate if your budget is prepared for the expense of student loan repayment to begin.
- Student Loan Counseling – Through Choice One’s partnership with GreenPath, we can offer various student loan counseling services. Free through GreenPath for Choice One members, a certified student loan expert can help review your student loans to determine payment options, explore the pros and cons of various repayment options, and develop a customized plan to help you meet your goals.
Tips for Navigating Student Loan Payment Resumption
In addition to taking advantage of the above resources free of charge through Choice One Community Credit Union membership, here are some additional tips for navigating the upcoming student loan repayment resumption.
1 Assess Your Financial Situation
The first step in preparing for student loan payment resumption is to evaluate your current financial situation. Take an in-depth look at your income, expenses, and savings. Use our budgeting worksheet to help with this. Understand how much you can afford to allocate to monthly loan payments without putting undue strain on your budget. A detailed financial plan will help you determine the most suitable repayment strategy.
2 Review Your Student Loan Terms
Before jumping back into repayments, refresh your memory on the specific terms and conditions of your student loans. Familiarize yourself with the interest rate, loan type, and special provisions like deferment or forbearance options. Knowing the specifics of your loans will empower you to make informed decisions regarding repayment options. The counseling services mentioned above can help with your review.
3 Explore Repayment Options
The end of the suspension brings an array of repayment options tailored to different financial circumstances. Standard repayment, income-driven plans, graduated repayment plans, and extended repayment options are among the choices that may be available. Each plan has pros and cons, so take the time to assess which one aligns best with your current financial situation and long-term goals. This is where our student loan counseling services can really come in handy. So, be sure to take advantage of this Choice One member service.
4 Consider Refinancing
If you have a stable income and credit score, exploring refinancing options might be worthwhile. Refinancing allows you to consolidate multiple loans into one with a potentially lower interest rate. However, keep in mind that refinancing federal loans will make you ineligible for federal protections, such as income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness programs. Evaluate the trade-offs before deciding. Speaking to a GreenPath student loan counselor can also help with this. Click here to learn more about the student loan options available at Choice One!
Prepare Now for Student Loan Payment Resumption
Navigating student loan payment resumption might seem frightening. However, by approaching this process proactively, participating in the GreenPath student loan webinar, and taking advantage of student loan counseling services, you can take control of your student loan journey and move forward with confidence toward a debt-free future.