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Student Loan Repayment

Student Loan Repayment

The COVID-19 pandemic brought many unprecedented circumstances. With payments and interest accrual on government-owned federal student loans paused since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, student loan borrowers have not been required to make payments for more than three years. This loan repayment pause is ending and repayment will resume as early as August 29, 2023.

Whether you are returning to repayment for the first time since 2020 or making your first ever student loan payment, you can set yourself up for success by preparing early. No matter your circumstances, the steps outlined below will walk you through the process and connect you with resources for additional support.

Guidance to Repayment

  • Use your FSA ID to log in to
  • Confirm your student loan servicer.
    • If you don’t know who your servicer is, you can find out by logging on to and visiting the “My Loan Servicers” section of your dashboard. That section of the dashboard will also give you the servicer’s contact information. Keep in mind, it is possible that your servicer may have changed their name or changed completely to another entity. Here is a list of Federal Student Loan Servicers.
  • Log in to your student loan servicer account to review and update your contact information; this ensures that you will receive important communication about your loans.
  • Reauthorize or select auto debit for monthly payments.
    • If you were previously signed up for automatic debit before the payment pause began, you must reauthorize or select automatic debit through your loan servicer account. If you have direct loans, one of the benefits of signing up for automatic debit is a 0.25% interest rate deduction.
  • Review payment due date and amount.
    • Ensure that you update any banking information and are prepared for the withdrawal of funds.
  • Use tools on and servicer’s portal to ensure your repayment plan is the best fit; there are a variety of option available for you to consider.

  • Log in to your student loan servicer account.
    • It may be necessary to update your contact information with your loan servicer. You should also review your outstanding balances and accrued interest.
  • Consider your repayment strategy and decide whether you need to change plans.
    • Federal Student Aid’s (FSA) Loan Simulator is a useful tool for researching the best repayment strategy for you.
  • Research repayment options and confirm the best plan for you.
    • Income Driven Repayment Plans (IDRs) could be a viable way to reduce your monthly payments.
    • SAVE Repayment Plan replaces the exisiting REPAYE Plan. The SAVE Plan has new benefits for borrowers effective this summer with more benefits coming in 2024. 
  • Once you’ve decided what plan is right for you, log in to your servicer portal or to select your desired plan.

  • Start early and be ready.
    • Take steps now to prepare for repayment and use the resources listed on this page if you anticipate encountering any challenges in beginning your loan repayment.
  • Review your personal budget to accommodate student loan payments.
  • Be patient and remain diligent.
    • With millions of borrowers transitioning into repayment at the same time, it is possible that loan servicers may be overwhelmed with a high volume of inquiries. It is possible you may not reach your servicer via phone the first time you call, and you may need to call a few times before getting connected. You may be able to find the information you’re looking for on your own on your loan servicer’s website, or by emailing or using live chat features.
  • Keep documentation.
    • Keep good documentation of your financial aid and loan servicer records and communications, such as forms, research, who you spoke to, and detailed notes of what you discussed.
  • Stay alert to avoid scams and review these tips for identifying a scam

The Department of Education offers a number of programs to assist borrowers and allow those in specific circumstances to have their loans canceled, discharged, or forgiven. Several of these programs are outlined below.

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
  • Student Loan Deferment and Forbearance
    • Deferment and forbearance are options that allows borrowers in short-term financial distress to temporarily stop making payments.
  • Loan Forgiveness 
    • There are various loan forgiveness programs that are available for borrowers who meet certain criteria and circumstances. 
  • Fresh Start Initiative
    • Helps delinquent and defaulted borrowers enter back into repayment in good standing. You can learn more about the Fresh Start and which loans are eligible through Federal Student Aid's Fresh Start Fact Sheet (pdf). 
  • One-Time Federal Student Loan Debt Relief
    • As a result of the ruling from the Supreme Court, the Biden Administration's plan for a one-time student loan forgiveness cannot proceed. The student loan pause will be ending. Student loan interest will resume Sept. 1, 2023. Payments will be due in October 2023 for most borrowers.

The information above was provided by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), © 2023. 

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is the only national, nonprofit association with a primary focus on information dissemination, professional development, and legislative and regulatory analysis related to federal student aid programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. Our membership consists of more than 29,000 financial aid professionals at nearly 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every 10 undergraduates in the United States.

NASFAA. “Student Loan Repayment Toolkit.” Advocacy, Policy & Research, 8 May 2023. 



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