How to get help with student loans

How to get help with student loans

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - If you've lost your job or been furloughed, repaying those student loans has probably been difficult.

You have several options whether it's through the federal government or your lender. Some of the help is already happening, but for others, it's up to you to reach out and get the process started.

Our partners at the financial website Nerdwallet have compiled a list of resources for every kind of loan.

If you have a federal loan, there is an automatic forbearance until September 30th. The fed is also waiving all interest during this time and has stopped collections for loans in default. But, the forbearance will add 6 months to the end of your loan term.

If you believe you will have trouble repaying your loans in the long term, you can apply for an “income-driven repayment plan”. This takes into account your monthly bills, your current income and the size of your family then determine what can reasonably pay.

If you have a private lender, they’ll typically let you pause payments for up to 12 months, but interest will accrue during this time.

Some lenders are offering other relief programs, but you have to contact them to see what's available.

And there’s also the possibility of refinancing. Rates are extremely low right now and you may qualify for a better one.

Also, check-in with your school. The Department of Education is distributing more than six billion dollars in emergency cash grants for students in need.

This money can go towards housing, food, books, technology, even childcare. Call your financial aid office for the details.

And if your employer was helping to pay your tuition, the stimulus bill changed the tax code so you don’t owe taxes on those funds for the rest of the year.

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