Virginia student loan advocate encourages borrowers to prepare now

Debt Ceiling plan has payments set to resume 60 days after June 30
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 4:20 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The debt ceiling plan is now on its way to President Joe Biden’s desk. Part of the deal includes student loan payments resuming 60 days after June 30.

The original pause on payments began in March 2020. Virginia’s Student Loan Advocate says federal loans have not been accruing interest.

Since so much time has passed, Scott Kemp says now is the time for borrowers to log in and see if any changes need to be made.

“First priority is to make sure the federal government knows how to find you, since it’s been over three years, and we have at least three years of college graduates who have not made their first payment to begin with. And over that time people move, they change their phone numbers, they change their email address,” Kemp said.

The student loan government website should prompt borrowers when they log in to update that information.

Virginia also has an online tool that can help borrowers. Virginia Student Loan Help has resources to go over loan forgiveness options, repayment options, and courses for those about to borrow.

There’s also the Fresh Start program, which can help people who are currently in default on their loans. Kemp says the program can help people get back into repayment status. That can help them become eligible for future financial aid, and improve their credit rating.

“Now, this Fresh Start Program gives people a chance to start again, kind of pick up where they where they left off, and also continue their education if they if they so desire,” he said.

Something borrowers should be mindful of right now, is student loan scams.

“They are very crafty, they’re very good at making it sound like they work with the Department of Education, and they’ll guarantee you loan forgiveness. And then they do you know, what they try to do is they get access to a person’s account and make changes and do things. And before you know it before the borrower realizes that, you know, the scammer is gone, and they’re out several months of worth of payments,” Kemp said.

Kemp’s advice to borrowers is if someone says they are with the Department of Education, or their loan servicer, hang up, and reach out directly to that department.

The Federal Student Aid website has ways to report suspected student loan scams available online.