The Extra Bonus of the Student Loan Repayment Pause through May 1, 2022


Since March 2020 and extending through May 1, 2022, payments and interest on all Federal education loans, both student loans and Parent PLUS loans have been suspended as parts of various COVID-related economic relief policies. Borrowers have not been obligated to send payments, and for anyone already behind in their payments, no additional penalties have been assessed. 

Yet, borrowers who will one day seek Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) have the added benefit that 26 “payments” between March 2020 and May 1, 2022 will be credited toward the 120 on-time payments necessary to qualify for forgiveness. Thus, PSLF borrowers can theoretically save the dollar equivalent of 21.6% of all their payments, courtesy of the federal government. 

Borrowers enrolled in PSLF must make 120 on-time payments or 10 years of monthly payments, while employed by a public service agency, like any governmental entity, including the military, qualifying non-profit 501(c)(3), AmeriCorps or Peace Corps. After 10 years, any remaining loan balance will be forgiven by the Federal Department of Education. (Using the PSLF Help Tool, borrowers can determine whether their employer qualifies them for the forgiveness program.) 

According to the Federal Student Aid guidance

To see these qualifying [paused] payments show up in your account, you must submit a PSLF form certifying your employment for the payment pause time period. Your count of qualifying payments toward PSLF updates only when you certify your employment.

Thus, borrowers would be wise to contact their loan servicers as soon as possible to ensure they’re taking full advantage of the federally mandated student loan repayment pause.

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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