Student Loan Payment Restart in Fall 2023: What You Need to Know

It’s here - the long dreaded resumption of student loan payments is set to begin this fall.

Around 44 million individuals in the United States carrying student debt are preparing to recommence their payments. This marks the end of a three-and-a-half-year period of interest-free payment suspension. Whether you're a fresh graduate who's now realizing the impact of your student debt or someone who's benefited from the payment pause, it's crucial to stay informed about the essential dates and modifications.

Here's everything you need to know about resuming your student loan payments:

August 22, 2023: The new income-driven repayment plan SAVE officially launched! It takes approximately four weeks to process applications, so act sooner rather than later if you want to be enrolled before payments recommence.

August 31, 2023: If you plan on making a payment in September, this is the deadline to let your servicer know. If you were enrolled before the pause, this is also the deadline to re enroll in optional Autopay - if you choose it, you'll get a reminder ahead of each withdrawal and save 0.25% on your interest rate. If you enrolled after the pause began, you’re already enrolled.  

If you do not plan on making a payment in September, your loan servicer might implement an administrative forbearance, which effectively postponing the payment requirement, but does not pause interest accruement for this month.

September 1, 2023: Student loan interest will begin accruing again on Friday, September 1, according to the Department of Education. If you intend on making a lump-sum payment, it's a good idea to do so before September to minimize interest costs.

October, 2023: The first round of bills are due, the specific date varies by person. You should receive a billing statement or other notice at least 21 days prior to the bill's due date. If you don't receive a billing notice by 21 days prior to the due date, contact your student loan servicer.

December 31: If you have a commercially held loan (one that is not by the Department of Education), such as a Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), Health Education Assistance Loan (HEAL) Program or Perkins loan, you’ll need to consolidate your loan into a new Direct Consolidation Loan to get credit for it under the income-driven repayment (IDR) account adjustment.

A one-time IDR account adjustment could change whether certain payments or months are credited toward your loan forgiveness.  Borrowers who work in public service must submit an employment certification form and Public Service Loan Forgiveness application no later than the end of 2023. If borrowers have payments remaining after the review, they’ll need to enroll in an IDR plan.

March 2024: If you were on an IDR plan before the payment pause, you have until (or around) March 2024 to recertify your income after the payment pause ends. It’s a good idea to recertify for a lower payment in the case that your income has decreased or your family size has grown.

If you want the payment amount to reflect these updates before your first bill arrives, you should recertify as soon as possible. You can recertify early using the IDR application and select the button next to “Manage Your Income-Driven Repayment Plan.” When the payment pause ends, your monthly payments will restart at the new amount.

If this all sounds overwhelming, and a little bit confusing, you’re not alone. We partnered with Summer, the leading resource for borrowers to simplify and save on their student debt, to help our community get out from the burden of debt. Freelancers Union members get free access to Summer's cutting-edge tools and dedicated team of student loan advisors to help them find, compare, and enroll in loan assistance and forgiveness programs. There's no cost to you, ever.

Learn more about how Summer can help reduce your student debt burden, here:

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