President Donald Trump announced that all federal student loan payments will be suspended without penalty for at least 60 days in response to the coronavirus outbreak in a White House press briefing Friday.
Betsy DeVos, U.S. Secretary of Education has directed that all federal student loan providers give borrowers the option to suspend their monthly loan payments without penalty, Trump said. To suspend payments borrowers will need to contact their loan servicer.
Trump announced March 13 that interest on all federally held student loans will be temporarily waived, according to a previous Shorthorn article.
If needed, the suspension will extend past the 60-day period relief, Trump said.
As part of the relief, DeVos also authorized the automatic suspension of payments that are past due more than 31 days as of March 13 or become more than 31 days past due during the 60-day relief period, according to a U.S. Department of Education press release.
Borrowers who wish to continue making payments can do so, stated the press release. The full amount of the payments will be applied to the initial amount of their loan once all interest that was accrued prior to March 13 is paid.
If a change of income occurs, borrowers who continue making payments can also contact their loan servicer to discuss lowering monthly payments, stated the release.
"These are anxious times, particularly for students and families whose educations, careers, and lives have been disrupted," DeVos stated. "Right now, everyone should be focused on staying safe and healthy — not worrying about their student loan balance growing.”