Federal student loan borrowers will have the option to suspend their loan payments for two months due to the coronavirus pandemic because “everyone should be focused on staying safe and healthy, not worrying about their student loan balance growing,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Friday.
The move comes a week after President Donald Trump announced freezing interest on federal student loans for the same reason.
DeVos has directed all federal student loan servicers to grant an administrative forbearance to any borrower with a federally held loan who requests one. The forbearance will be in effect for a period of at least 60 days, beginning March 13. To avail of this, borrowers should contact their loan servicer online or by phone.
“These are anxious times, particularly for students and families whose educations, careers and lives have been disrupted … and I hope it provides meaningful help and peace of mind to those in need,” said DeVos.
The education secretary has also authorized an automatic suspension of payments for any borrower more than 31 days delinquent as of March 13, or who becomes more than 31 days delinquent.