What’s the deal with IDR renewals during the COVD-19 payment freeze?
The CARES Act student loan benefits officially expired on September 30th, but by Executive Order the President extended them out to 12/31/2020. What was NOT addressed by CARES, the EO, or the Dept. of Education, however, was how renewals of Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans would be handled by loan servicers. The servicers (FedLoans, specifically, as the contracted PSLF servicer) have responded by automatically extending IDR plan renewals by six (6) months for both the initial interest and payment freeze and the EO extension through 12/31. Sounds simple, right? Oh, how we wish it was…
FedLoans has been broadly issuing renewal notices anyway, and generally conflicting communications to many borrowers. This is causing precocious renewals of IDR plans which can limit your stimulus savings. From our experience, calling FedLoans about the conflicting information doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the right answer from a live representative. While we understand that it may appropriate for some borrowers to renew their IDR plans during this freeze, the vast majority are best off enjoying the extension.
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