UPDATE: CARES Act Protections Extended for Borrowers

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress on March 27, 2020 provides federal student loan borrowers with certain forms of relief.

Many important measures provided for in the CARES Act were set to last until September 30, 2020. On August 8, 2020, the federal government extended the date for which these protective measures will be in place until December 31, 2020.

The following measures are now in place until December 31, 2020 and are retroactive to March 13

Payment postponement: Borrowers with federally held student loans automatically received an initial six-month forbearance, retroactive to March 13. This forbearance has been extended through December 31, 2020. The Department of Education has indicated that any auto-debit payments, or voluntary payments made during this period, can be refunded. Contact your loan servicer to request that your payment be refunded.

Interest waiver: For the same initial six-month period, no new interest will accrue on federally held student loans. The period has been extended through December 31, 2020.

Loan forgiveness program or loan rehabilitation program: Even though a borrower’s loan payment is suspended, each month will be counted as a qualifying payment. This has been extended through December 31, 2020.

Private/other student loan relief

Some private loan servicers are also taking voluntary steps to assist borrowers. When in doubt, contact your lender to find out what options are available.

What you need to know if you are paying off student loans

Only certain types of loans qualify for CARES Act relief.  If you don’t know what type of loan you have, you can try checking on https://studentaid.gov/.

If your loan does qualify, you don’t need to do anything. Your payments will automatically stop from March 13 through December 31.

You will still be responsible for your loan. After December 31, you will be responsible for paying on your loan once again. The amount will not be reduced.

We can help

Call us at 401-247-4400 or e-mail studentloans@riag.ri.gov

  • If you have questions or need help understanding the student loan benefits available.
  • If you believe your rights under the Student Loan Bill of Rights have been violated.
  • If you believe that your servicer is denying you the relief you are entitled to.

View the full Guidance for Student Loan Borrowers and Frequently Asked Questions here.