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The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) is reminding everyone with federal student loans that payments will resume for all borrowers in October, following a pause implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Interest accrual resumes Sept. 1, potentially affecting borrowers’ outstanding loan balances. Since March 2020, interest on most federal student loans had been temporarily paused.
“An important aspect of this transition is that people’s student loan balances have remained unchanged, but with the resumption of interest accrual, they will begin to rise,” said Lane Thompson, Oregon student loan ombuds. “We encourage borrowers to be active in understanding the implications of this change on their financial obligations.”
To facilitate a smooth transition and ensure accurate communication, all borrowers are urged to log in to studentaid.gov, the official U.S. Department of Education platform for federal student aid, and verify the accuracy of their contact and servicer information. Also, it is recommended that borrowers review their repayment options. Circumstances can evolve over time, making it essential to align repayment strategies with current financial status.
“A lot can change in three years, so it is paramount for people to verify the accuracy of their information,” Thompson said. “Ensuring that contact details are up to date will help borrowers stay informed about their loan status.”
In conjunction with the resumption of payments, the Biden administration has introduced an on-ramp program, which includes a fact sheet. This initiative aims to provide some relief to borrowers by prohibiting loan servicers from reporting missed payments to credit bureaus for one year. This measure offers a safety net for those facing difficulties in making payments after the extended payment pause.
DFR advises all borrowers to remain vigilant against potential scams. Instances of fraud have been reported in which scammers attempt to deceive people into making payments to unauthorized entities instead of their legitimate loan servicer.
“Scammers are out and trying to take advantage of the situation,” said TK Keen, DFR administrator. “Borrowers are encouraged to seek written communication, such as letters, from their servicers to verify authenticity.”
The Oregon Attorney General’s office is also integral in safeguarding those with student loans.
“My office plays a vital role in protecting student loan borrowers from misleading and deceptive practices. This fall will be no exception – we will be closely watching what happens when the pause on repayment ends in October,” said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. “If you have a concern about a practice of your loan servicer pertaining to your student loans, I urge you to file a complaint.”
It is critically important for borrowers to find out their loan servicer’s name and contact information, and understand their repayment plan and options. This knowledge empowers people to effectively manage their loan obligations.
Source: Oregon Division of Financial Regulation