Key Takeaways


  • Federal student loan borrowers need to prepare for the end of interest-free forbearance by locating information about their loan servicer and confirming their monthly payment amount.

  • Starting to save the total monthly payment amount owed each month before September can help offset the impact of the first few loan payments on your budget and help you prepare for the new expense

Your federal student loan payments will be due soon. The Supreme Court struck down President Biden’s student loan cancellation plan. In June, Congress passed a debt ceiling bill preventing more extensions. 

Although Biden announced that his administration will take more steps toward forgiveness, interest accrual on federal student loans begins on September 1, 2023, and payments are due in October. Your balance will start increasing again after holding steady for three years.

It’s time to prepare for the end of interest-free federal student loan forbearance. Here’s what to do. 

 

Getting Ready


First, locate information about your student loan servicer. Many federal loans changed servicers during the forbearance period, so your payments may go to a different company. 

Visit studentaid.gov and log in to your account. Your profile will help you find information about your loan balance and servicer. 

Next, contact your servicer to confirm your monthly payment amount. Your first loan bill will be due in October. Ask about any payment plans the servicer has available. 

Servicers expect a large influx of calls in September and October as interest begins accruing and payments begin. Getting ahead of the change means you have a better chance of receiving support. 

Once you’ve spoken with your servicer, explore Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) to learn whether IDR could reduce your monthly payment. The Federal Student Aid website offers a Loan Simulator you can use to explore payment options.

Finally, set up a student loan sinking fund at your bank. A sinking fund is a savings account designated for a specific purpose. In this case, the sinking fund for your student loans allows you to practice making the payments and adjust your budget for the new expense. 

Start setting aside the total monthly payment you’ll owe. Save that amount each month until September. If you can contribute more, you’ll offset the first few loan payments and reduce their impact on your budget. 

Important Dates

 

  • September 1, 2023: Forbearance ends, and interest starts accruing on federal student loans

  • October 2023: Federal student loan payments are due

  • December 2023: Take advantage of additional months counted toward IDR under the one-time IDR waiver or account adjustment, if available

Moving Forward


Many borrowers hoped for student loan forgiveness, but the forbearance period is ending. Watch for news about the Biden administration’s next steps—and start preparing now so you’re not caught off guard in October. 

 

 

Prepared by a third-party. 

 

 

 

 

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