VILLA PARK, Ill. – State Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, is informing residents of expanded student loan relief available to residents struggling to make their loan payments due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Families in our community are facing financial uncertainty and economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have to do everything we can to relieve this burden for families who are just trying to get by,” said Conroy.
“During these difficult times of financial uncertainty, even a little relief can go a long way,” said Conroy. “Families are readjusting their budgets and figuring out how to make ends meet as unemployment rises and the economic future looks to be uncertain. This student loan relief can help many families free up some extra room in their budgets so that they can ensure the mortgage is paid, their children are cared for, and there is food on the table.”
The federal CARES Act provided relief for individuals with government-owned federal loans by suspending monthly payments, interest and involuntary collection activity until Sept. 30. The state’s action last week in cooperation with 20 student loan servicers will grant similar protections to over 138,000 Illinoisans with privately held student loans. Those protections may include a minimum of 90 days of forbearance, waiving late payment fees, ensuring that borrowers are not subject to negative credit reporting, ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days, and working with borrowers to ensure enrollment in existing programs such as income-based repayment plans. Consumers should contact their servicers directly to learn more about the relief options available to them.
Borrowers may visit the Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data System website at nslds.ed.gov or call the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 or 1-800-730-8913 (TDD) to determine the types of federal loans they hold and who the servicers are. Borrowers with private student loans can check the contact information on their monthly billing statements.
“I am committed to working with the state’s leaders to help Illinoisans get through this unprecedented public health and economic crisis,” said Conroy. “I encourage any resident with student loan debt to take the time to understand what assistance might be available to them.”