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What’s Happening With Student Loans Right Now

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Student Loan Relief Extension

If you’re like most people, your student loans have probably been out of sight, out of mind for several years now. But that's about to change.

Federal student loan payments are officially restarting October 2023.5 Yes, this October. And student loan interest will restart sooner—on September 1, 2023.

Back at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, people who had lost their jobs or were furloughed were having a hard time paying their rent—let alone their student loans. So, in March of 2020, the U.S. government passed the CARES Act to make things easier on those who were hit hard financially. This paused federal student loan payments and set the interest rate for federal student loans to 0%.

Up until now, student loan relief has been extended several times—mostly based on how the economy was doing (i.e., not great). Most recently, President Biden extended the payment pause until the Supreme Court could make a decision about his student loan forgiveness plan. But one condition of the debt limit deal that Biden recently signed into law was that the student loan payment pause ends after August 30, 2023. That means, no more extensions.

“Student loan interest will resume starting on September 1, 2023, and payments will be due starting in October,” a spokesperson for the Education Department told POLITICO in June. “We will notify borrowers well before payments restart.”6

Pretty soon, your student loan payment will be in your face (and coming out of your bank account) again. And the sooner you’re prepared, the better off you’ll be.

If you’re worried about being able to make your student loan payments once student loan relief ends, you’re not the only one. In fact, 92% of fully employed student loan borrowers are concerned that rising costs will make it harder to afford their student loan payments once they kick back in.7

But there are still things you can do now to get on top of your student loans—and get them out of your life for good!

How to Prepare for the End of Student Loan Relief

Start paying back your student loans now.

The best thing you can do to prepare for the end of student loan relief is to start making those payments now—before October. Why would you pay your student loan payments if you don’t have to? Because the interest alone will eat you alive. And right now, you can keep making those payments and not pay any interest. None. Zero. Zilch. That means your entire payment goes directly toward knocking down the principal amount of your student loans. That’s huge.

Now is the time to make some serious progress. And the sooner you pay off your student loans, the sooner you can feel that same sense of relief you may have felt the last few years—except you won’t have to worry about them coming back ever again!

Make sure your information is correct.

This tip is mostly housekeeping, but if you haven’t paid on your federal student loans since March 2020, it’s important to make sure your loan servicer has your correct information. Did you get married? Get a new phone number? Move to a new place? It’s a good idea to double-check that your loan servicer has all your correct info on hand before that first payment is due. Because the last thing you want is to be late or default on your student loans over a technicality. Just go to to view and update your info.

P.S. Don’t be surprised if your loan servicer has changed since you last made a student loan payment. The Federal Student Aid office works with multiple loan servicers, and it’s more common than you may think for companies to transfer loans to another servicer. If that happens, you should get a letter or email letting you know about the switch. And you may need to create an online account with your new loan servicer. Just make sure your payment history and balance are correct, so you’re not stuck paying more than you owe.