Last Update: May 28, 2020
Many of you have been asking questions about what to do during this period of 0% student loan interest rates. Others that are students still have questions about loans and graduation.
This page aims to answer these questions and more. Below is a table of what you will find on this page:
A lot of you have gotten your graduation date pushed back or have recently graduated and are not getting good answers from your loan servicers.
We recently did a workshop for the University of Michigan's DPT department. We decided to turn that workshop into a podcast and video. In the podcast and video you'll hear the detailed things you need to know about COVID and how to manage your loans during this time.
We deeper dive into your grace period and how to develop your student loan plan and answer questions such as "does my grace period get extended" as well as "my school postponed my graduation. What happens to my loans?"
For more podcasts be sure to check out the FitBUX Podcast page.
Your required payment automatically will go to zero. It will be this way till September 30th.
Nothing, you already have a $0 required payment. If your income is still depressed at the end of September then apply for an income driven repayment plan. Your monthly payment should be $0 per month or extremely low.
If you're set on paying off your loans, know that your job is secure, and you have a large cash buffer (or you live at home and don't have rent), then you can continue down the refinance path.
Also, if you have private loans already, then you should look into refinancing.
With the current interest rate picture, we're seeing incredibly low rates. Remember that checking your rates does not impact your credit score and does not cost you anything. We're also available to assist throughout the process, at no cost to you using our Free Student Loan Refinance Service.
Below are the refinance companies offering the lowest rates (in most cases), in the current environment:
We're getting feedback that folks are on hold for hours and are not getting answers. Unless it is a true emergency, you should be able to make your changes online and save yourself some headaches (and time).
If you have been laid off and are no longer employed you should immediately rollover your 401k or 403b into an IRA. In addition, if you don't have a large emergency fund, if your rollover IRA is the only money you have, and its a relatively low amount (for example $20,000 or less), then have it in an extremely conservative investment.
Also, depending on when this contraction ends, you may want to convert the rollover IRA to a Roth IRA. However, this should only be done towards the end of the year when you know what your annual income is. More information to come about this in the future.
Earnest encourages borrowers who are experiencing financial hardship to reach out to its Client Happiness team via its email portal. While those who need immediate assistance can try calling (888) 601-2801, Earnest says wait times are longer than ever due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Earnest said it has created options for those who are struggling to pay back their loan. As you inquire about what’s available to you, Earnest recommends providing the following information:
Earnest has always offered a number of borrowers protections, including,
If you’ve been impacted by the pandemic, contact Earnest as soon as possible to find out which of its current or new offerings could provide some financial relief.
SoFi is asking borrowers who have been impacted by the coronavirus to reach out to its servicing partner MOHELA by calling (877) 292-7470, or to contact SoFi by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by chatting with customer service at SoFi.com.
While it may be expanding borrower protections as the pandemic winds on, SoFi already offers the following to its refinancing customers:
If your income has been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, Laurel Road advises contacting its loan servicing partner, MOHELA, at 1-877-292-6845. The servicer may be able to offer forbearance or other hardship relief to borrowers.
Laurel Road offers full or partial forbearance for three-month periods at a time, up to a total of 12 months. Some qualifying reasons include job loss or unpaid maternity leave.
You can keep track of other Laurel Road measures in response to the coronavirus crisis by visiting laurelroad.com/coronavirus-response.
Splash Financial works with banks and credit unions to provide student loan refinancing to its customers. While none of its lenders’ policies had changed as of the writing of this report, Splash Financial says it’s nonetheless committed to helping people on an individual basis.
“Anyone who needs support during this time should reach out to us, and we will work with them on an individual basis to either put them on forbearance, waive fees,” or take other action, says the company’s founder and CEO Steven Muszynski “This is an extraordinary time, and we are committed to working to help our borrowers get through this.”
Some of Splash Financial’s lending partners may already offer deferment or forbearance, and most allow deferment for borrowers in medical or dental training. You can reach out directly to your refinancing provider to learn about your options, and can also contact Splash Financial at 1-800-349-3938 or email@example.com.
If you refinanced with College Ave Student Loans, you can get in touch with its representatives at (844) 803-0736 during weekdays, or via email on its contact page.
Currently, College Ave already offers:
CommonBond is allowing borrowers to pause payments through natural disaster forbearance, as COVID-19 has been classified as a national disaster. Through this type of forbearance, you can pause payments until the end of the national emergency declaration.
You can apply for CommonBond student loan forbearance here. Within three days, you’ll receive an email to schedule a call with a forbearance specialist, and your application should be processed approximately three days after that.
Note that interest will continue to accrue on your student loans during forbearance, but you won’t have to pay any fees to participate. CommonBond is also waiving all late fees for its members throughout this emergency.
For more information, you can email CommonBond at firstname.lastname@example.org or call its team at (800) 975-7812.
LendKey is working with borrowers on an individual basis to help them manage their student loans. If you have questions, you can contact them at email@example.com or by calling (888) 966-9268.
Since LendKey partners with different community banks and credit unions across the country to provide student loan refinancing, it’s also worth contacting your specific lender or loan servicer directly to learn about your options.