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New aid for students with privately held loans

(WCAX)
Published: Apr. 21, 2020 at 4:42 PM EDT
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More help is available for students and families juggling loan repayments during the COVID-19 crisis.

Tuesday, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, along with eight other states, announced relief options for students who had privately held loans. It includes deferring payments for 90 days, waiving late fees, protecting against hits to your credit scores and working with borrowers to put them on a repayment plan that takes into account income losses during the economic shutdown.

But the department says there are steps you will need to take.

"If you are experiencing financial difficulty, these options don't automatically get triggered for you. You should reach out to your student loan servicer so that you can discuss the options that are available," Vt. Financial Regulation Commissioner Michael Pieciak said.

Federally held loans were already helped under the CARES Act.

Here are the loan providers included in this:

To determine the types of federal loans they have and who their servicers are, borrowers can visit the Department of Education's National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) 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). Borrowers with private student loans can check the contact information on their monthly billing statements. VSAC borrowers may call 1-833-802-8722 for assistance.

If a borrower is experiencing trouble with their student loan servicer, they are encouraged to contact the following and file a complaint:

•DFR Banking Division: call (888) 568-4547 or email dfr.bnkconsumer@vermont.gov.

•Attorney General's Consumer Assistance Program: call (800) 649-2424 or email AGO.CAP@vermont.gov.

•The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/.

Other states joining this initiative include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia and Washington.

In addition to VSAC, which already provides these relief options, the other private student loan servicers providing relief includes: Aspire Resources, Inc., College Ave Student Loan Servicing, LLC, Earnest Operations, Edfinancial, Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation, Lendkey Technologies, Inc., Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA), Navient, Nelnet, SoFi Lending Corp., Tuition Options United Guaranty Services, Inc., Upstart Network, Inc. and the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority.

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