The CARES Act includes important student loan relief. Here are the top takeaways:

  • Student loan payments on federally-funded loans such as Direct Loans will be suspended from March
    13, 2020 to September 30, 2020, and no interest will accrue during this time period. The suspension
    should have taken effect on April 10, 2020.
  • Commercially-held loans and private loans are not included in the suspension.
  • To find out what kind of loans you have and who the current lender is, contact your loan servicer.
  • If you have a federally-funded loan, the suspension is automatic. If you want to continue making payments during this period, you should contact your loan servicer.
  • The six months of suspended payments will count as payments toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness, but you must still meet the other requirements: you must have Direct Loans, be on a qualifying repayment plan prior to March 13, and continue to work full-time in public service.
  • Under the CARES Act, if your school year is interrupted because of COVID-19, the partial year of work is treated as a full year for purposes of the Teach Grants and Teacher Loan Forgiveness.

2 Things You Can Do

  • During the suspension, you should consider enrolling in or recertifying in an income-drive repayment
    plan. The NEA Student Loan Forgiveness Navigator powered by Savi can help you enroll in an income-
    driven repayment plan. Go to
  • NEA is fighting for greater student debt relief. You can take action by contacting your members of Congress and demanding that student debt cancellation be included in any further COVID-19 relief bills.

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