How to Get a Student Loan Suspension Refund
Borrowers who made payments during the break can get a refund, and the government will include it in student loan forgiveness, the Department for Education said.
President Joe Biden announced Aug. 24 that his administration is writing off up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt for those with incomes below $125,000 a year or households earning less than $250,000. The Biden administration is also waiving an additional $10,000 for those who received federal Pell grants to attend college.
Student loan repayments have been suspended for millions of federal borrowers since March 13, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. During this period, no interest accrued on federal student loans and borrowers were not required to make payments.
More CHECK: Quick Facts About Student Loan Forgiveness
Still, nearly 500,000 borrowers chose not to suspend payments and continued to repay their loans, according to the US Department of Education. Now many are wondering if they can get a refund, including people who have paid off their loans and now owe less than they might be entitled to in the event of a pardon.
A Posting on Twitterwhich garnered more than 13,000 retweets and 38,000 likes as of August 26, says people who continued to repay their student loans during the payment break can request a refund.
Can you get a refund if you paid student loans during the payment break?
Yes, you can get a refund if you paid federal student loans during the payment break.
Borrowers who paid between March 13, 2020 and August 23, 2022 and now owe less than the $10,000 to $20,000 threshold should request a refund so they can get the full amount forgiven.
Any amount paid after August 24, 2022, which brings a borrower below the threshold, will be automatically refunded without the borrower requesting it.
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“Borrowers can request a refund of any federal student loan payment made since March 13, 2020. Any amount paid after August 24, 2022 that brings a borrower below the $10,000 or $20,000 threshold will be automatically refunded without the borrower requests it,” a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Education told VERIFY.
The spokesperson explained that the repaid payments will increase borrowers’ loan balances. They also noted that to qualify for loan forgiveness under the Biden administration’s student debt relief plan, “borrowers must meet all other criteria, including having qualifying loans and meeting income criteria.
To request a refund, the Department of Education says you should contact your student loan officer. A loan officer is a company the Department of Education appoints to handle billing and other services on federal student loans on the agency’s behalf.
While the Biden administration’s $10,000 to $20,000 loan forgiveness plan is new, the option of getting a refund of payments made during the break has been an option since the spring of 2020.
More CHECK: You won’t have to pay federal tax on student debt relief, but states might tax it as income
“The Department of Education has placed your Department of Education-owned student loans into a temporary payment suspension which began March 13, 2020. This means you do not have to make monthly payments during this time. If you made a payment during this time, you can request a refund through your loan servicer,” the agency explains on its website.
Aidvantage, Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Nelnet, MOHELA, FedLoan Servicing and Ed Financial Services are the current official federal student loan agents. They all say you can contact them directly to request a refund if you made a student loan payment during the break.
Any borrowers who still owe student loans after the forgiveness is issued will likely have to start repaying their loans starting next year. The payment pause has been extended until Dec. 31, 2022, for a “final time,” according to the Biden administration.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
More CHECK: Yes, there is a way to check if you have received a Pell grant