LOMBARD – With the announcement of additional student loan relief for Illinois residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Terra Costa Howard, D-Glen Ellyn, is urging residents to contact their lenders and servicers right away.
“The federal CARES Act postponed student loan payments and interest until September 30, but for government-owned loans only,” Costa Howard said. “Now, through the efforts of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, there is assistance available for more than 138,000 Illinoisans with private student loans.”
The state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation secured relief options from 20 private student loan servicers, to help ease the financial burden on borrowers who are struggling to make payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. The available relief may include providing a minimum of 90 days of forbearance, waiving late payment fees, protecting against negative credit reporting, ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days, or working with the borrower to find alternative solutions, such as income-based payment.
To get information on loan relief, borrowers with federal loans can access the Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data System at www.NSLDS.ed.gov or call the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243. Borrowers with private student loans should refer to the contact information on their billing statements.
Any borrower experiencing trouble with a student loan servicer is urged to file a complaint with the IDFPR Division of Banking, at 217-785-2900 or IDFPR.com/admin/banks/DoBcomplaints.asp, as well as the Attorney General Student Loan Helpline, at 800-455-2456 or illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/filecomplaint.html, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at ConsumerFinance.gov/complaint.
“These measures are designed to provide some relief to people who are struggling to make their student loan payments during this pandemic,” Costa Howard added. “If you are carrying student loan debt in these difficult times, please contact your loan providers immediately to determine the options available and whether you qualify for assistance.”