Information for Borrowers Experiencing Financial Hardship Due to COVID-19 Related Issues
FEDERAL DIRECT LOAN BORROWERS
The U.S. Department of Education has made several announcements recently about relief to current borrowers of Federal Direct Loans.
Please understand that the NMU Financial Aid staff cannot answer questions about these announcements. Borrowers are being directed to contact their loan servicing company directly to find out what options are available.
Note that not all the options are automatic; the two months skipped payments are not automatic! You have to ask for them by contacting your loan servicer. IF YOU ARE ENROLLED AT LEAST HALF TIME RIGHT NOW, YOU ARE ALREADY DEFERRED AND DO NOT NEED TO REQUEST SKIPPED PAYMENTS, AS NONE ARE DUE.
More information can be found here: https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus
PRIVATE EDUCATION LOAN BORROWERS
We have heard from many of the private lenders that they are offering assistance and repayment relief to student loan borrowers who are in repayment, or who have payments required while enrolled (not deferred). The list below is not all-inclusive; if you don’t see your lender below, reach out to their customer service hotline directly to find out what options are available.
- Speak clearly, answer their identifying questions (name, SSN, DOB, etc.), and write down the name of the person you speak with. Thank them up front for helping you – these folks are swamped with calls right now
- Let them know how your finances have been impacted (loss of a job in the household, for example), and ask what options they have available to assist you. Write down the options or the directions you are given. Many are going to direct you to their websites for step-by-step instructions.
- Repeat back what you have heard, to make sure you have understood it correctly and know what your next step is.
- Demand an answer immediately. The person you are talking to may not have all the answers right now, but can gather useful questions from you.
- Be rude. Again, the person you are talking to is going through all the same kinds of things we are and they may be overwhelmed with calls. Be kind. We’re all doing the best we can under the circumstances.