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Student loan payments suspended for six months under Senate bill

Student loan borrowers would be allowed to put off paying their federal student loan payments without penalty until September 30 under the Senate...

Posted: Mar 25, 2020 4:14 PM
Updated: Mar 26, 2020 6:00 AM

Student loan borrowers would be allowed to put off paying their federal student loan payments without penalty until September 30 under the Senate coronavirus stimulus bill passed late Wednesday.

The bill provision extends the plan already put in place by the Education Department amid the coronavirus crisis, which allows borrowers to defer their payments without interest for at least 60 days. But the deferred-payment benefit currently isn't automatic and requires borrowers to contact their loan servicers to ask for help.

The Senate bill automatically suspends those payments without interest for the next six months. It also suspends the collection on defaulted debts -- including wage and tax refund garnishment.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Wednesday that collections will be stopped for at least 60 days.

The Senate bill offers an additional benefit for those borrowers seeking loan forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, for example. Those borrowers should still see their debt wiped away after 10 years, without being penalized for not making payments over the next six months.

But the bill stops short of a Democratic proposal to cancel a minimum of $10,000 in student debt per borrower over the course of the national emergency.

The Center for Responsible Lending is concerned that some federal student loan borrowers will be left out under the draft bill. It applies to those with federally held loans and excludes private loans, as well as some federally guaranteed loans -- likely including some disbursed prior to 2008.

Under the bill, borrowers would still be allowed to make payments during the six months.

Although the White House and Senate leaders struck a deal on the legislation early Wednesday morning, an exact time for the Senate vote has not yet been scheduled and it's not yet clear when the House will vote to approve the measure.

This story has been updated with the Senate passage of the bill and additional details from the legislation.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Washington461560
Umatilla300441
Clackamas246663
Malheur165030
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Jackson11906
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Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
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Confirmed Cases: 819115

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Riverside594051226
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Orange537511268
San Diego47180783
Kern32073369
Fresno28621390
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Contra Costa16793207
Stanislaus16512362
Tulare16204263
Ventura12875150
Imperial11908320
San Francisco11275104
Monterey1005073
San Mateo9990150
Santa Barbara9164113
Merced8961143
Kings768180
Sonoma7578122
Marin6734119
Solano644571
Madera458368
San Luis Obispo361231
Placer360448
Butte284844
Yolo282855
Santa Cruz239410
Napa172713
Sutter172011
San Benito135211
Yuba11728
El Dorado11514
Mendocino95418
Shasta94320
Lassen7410
Glenn5963
Tehama5855
Lake56611
Nevada5417
Colusa5356
Humboldt5128
Calaveras32214
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18815
Mono1662
Siskiyou1660
Del Norte1441
Mariposa762
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
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