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Resolve student loan payment problems

If you are struggling to repay your student loan, contact your loan servicer. Not paying your student loan has serious consequences. Learn how to get your payments back on track.

Student loan payments resumed October 2023

Interest on student loans restarted on September 1, 2023, when the COVID-19 payment pause ended.

Make student loans easier to repay with an income-driven repayment plan

If your student loan payments seem too high for your income level, you might be able to switch to an income-driven repayment plan. This bases your payment amount on your income and family size. Find out how to apply for an income-driven repayment plan to lower your monthly payments.

The Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan is a new income-driven repayment plan for borrowers. It offers the lowest monthly payments compared to all other income-driven repayment plans. Learn how to apply for the SAVE repayment plan.

Student loan deferment and forbearance

If you are having trouble paying back your student loans, you may qualify for:

  • Loan deferment - Payments are postponed. In most cases, the interest money you owe will continue to accrue (grow).
  • Forbearance - Payments are suspended or reduced but the interest you owe continues to accrue.

Both give you a temporary pause in your loan payments. Learn more about how student loan deferment and forbearance work.

Student loan delinquency and default

If your student loan payment is one day late, your account is delinquent. If it stays delinquent, it will go into default.

To prevent default, contact your loan servicer right away. Default has serious financial consequences, including:

  • Hurting your credit rating and your ability to buy a car or house or get a credit card
  • Having your tax refunds withheld and applied toward your defaulted loan
  • Having your wages garnished (withheld) to repay your loan

Get more information to help you avoid student loan delinquency and default.

Student loan disputes

If you do not agree with your loan servicer about the balance or status of your loan, take these steps:

  1. Identify your loan problem. See this list of common student loan disputes.

  2. Talk to your loan servicer. Learn how to find out who your loan servicer is if you are not sure.

  3. If you still need help, contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group.

LAST UPDATED: February 27, 2024


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