RICHMOND, Va. – Financial relief is coming to more than 200,000 Virginians with privately-held student loans.
Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Wednesday the payment relief is part of a new initiative by Virginia and several other states to work with major private student loan servicers to expand on protections given to federal student loan borrowers through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The CARES Act provided relief for people with federal loans, but millions with privately-held student loans were left out.
The new initiative offers the following options:
- Providing a minimum of 90 days of forbearance
- Waiving late payment fees
- Ensuring that no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting
- Ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days
- Working with borrowers to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment
The new initiative applies to Virginians with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) loans, Perkins loans, or privately-held student loans.
“Virginians are facing unprecedented hardships as a result of this ongoing public health crisis, and student loan borrowers should not have to deal with the added pressure of how they are going to make their loan payments,” said Northam. “This initiative will provide an important financial lifeline and repayment flexibility to Virginia residents who were not eligible for relief under the CARES Act.”
Borrowers should immediately contact their student loan providers. Borrowers are also encouraged to ask how the relief will impact the terms and conditions of their loans, including the impact of the interest that accrues during the 90-day forbearance and how it will extend the repayment schedule for the loans.
Private student loan servicers providing relief include:
- Aspire Resources Inc.
- College Ave Student Loan Servicing LLC
- Earnest Operations LLC
- Edfinancial Services LLC
- Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation
- Lendkey Technologies Inc.
- Higher Education Loan Authority of the State of Missouri (MOHELA)
- Nelnet Inc.
- SoFi Lending Corp.
- Tuition Options LLC
- United Guaranty Services Inc.
- Upstart Network Inc.
- Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority (UHEAA)
- Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC)
Other states in the initiative include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, and Washington.