Student loan payment pause ends: What you need to know about making payments

Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 9:53 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Interest on student loans started back up Friday, September 1 for millions of borrowers across the country. For many, this will be the first time making any type of payment at all.

Student loan payments and interest accrual were stopped for more than three years, and now the pandemic pause has come to an end. A student loan advocate with Virginia’s State Council of Higher Education explained the first step toward making a payment is checking with your loan provider.

“I’d say a vast majority of borrowers either have a newly named loan servicer or a completely different one,” Scott Kemp said. “For borrowers that are not sure who their loan servicer is, we recommend that they go to and log in to their federal account.”

Borrowers can choose which type of loan payment plan they can be on. Kemp explained an option for those with a tighter budget is the ‘Save Plan’, but lower payments in the short run mean you could be paying more in the long run.

“[The Save Plan] bases your payment, your income-driven payment, on a smaller percentage of your discretionary income,” Kemp said. “Because interest is accruing, and starting up again, and if you’re paying less than the standard amount, which is 10 years or 120 payments, there’s a chance that your loan is going to increase or it’s not going to go down significantly.”

With payments starting back up, Kemp explained scammers will also start to make an appearance.

“If borrowers receive a phone call saying, ‘We guarantee loan forgiveness, just give us your login information’, it most likely is too good to be true,” Kemp said. “Loan servicers aren’t going to be making phone calls with borrowers.”

If you still have questions about your upcoming payments, check your loan provider website or reach out to a Virginia student loan advocate at