Up & Coming Weekly

December 22, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 15 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM DECEMBER 23-29, 2020 UCW 15 EDUCATION FTCC offers update on student loan repayment amid COVID-19 by KATHERINE RETTIG KATHERINE RETTIG, FTCC Senior Financial Aid Technician. Comments? Editor@upandcomingweekly.com 910- 484-6200. The FTCC Financial Aid Department has important news for student loan borrowers. Our office is committed to providing financial literacy and student loan repayment information to our stu- dents and the communit y. Student loan repayment relief began on March 20 when the Secretar y of Education announced that all federal student loans should have a 0% inter- est rate for the following 60 days, that collections activit y on defaulted loans should cease, and that monthly pay- ments on loans should not be required. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securit y Act (CARES Act), which was enacted on March 27, exten- ded these student loan assistance pro- visions from March 13 to Sept. 30. Currently, these three relief bene- fits are scheduled to end on Dec. 31 after they were extended by President Donald Trump on Aug. 8. Student loan borrowers may receive another extension on these relief pro- visions, but they should be prepared to resume payments in Januar y 2021, as the COVID-19 forbearance will expire at the end of 2020, as of the time of the writing of this article. W hat do these relief provisions mean for borrowers? W hile monthly pay- ments have not been required and inte- rest has not accrued on federal student loans, borrowers are still able to make voluntar y payments. This time period is a wonderful opportunit y to reduce the principle owed on student loans. If a borrower is participating in an inco- me-based repayment plan and working toward making the number of requi- rement payments for student loan for- giveness, the suspended payments are included in the total payments needed. This benefit from the CARES Act ena- bles borrowers to continue to make pro- gress toward loan forgiveness during the time of payment suspension. Those borrowers who should have renewed their income information for an income-based repayment plan bet- ween March 13 and Dec. 31 will not be required to recertif y income informa- tion during this timeframe and will receive correspondence from their servicer about income recertification at some point after the COVID-19 forbe- arance has ended. For borrowers with defaulted student loans in collections, this has been a time of relief from collections activit y. However, if the student loan repayment provisions expire, collections activit y will resume. Borrowers with defaulted federal student loans should reach out to their guarantor or the Department of Education's Default Resolution Group at 1-800-621-3115 in order to begin stu- dent loan rehabilitation to bring the loans back into good standing. As a reminder, the Department of Education and federal student loan ser- vicers will never charge a fee for repay- ment counseling or to receive these relief benefits from the CARES Act. Any organization that attempts to offer loan repayment assistance for a fee is likely to be promoting a scam. Please reach out to your federal student loan servicer for free assistance. If you are unsure of the name of your federal loan servicer or how to contact them, visit https://studentaid.gov and log in to view your repayment informa- tion. FTCC reminds you to be an infor- med borrower and make the most of the student loan repayment relief during this challenging time. Spring classes begin on Jan. 11. Start the new year moving for ward and remaining connected to somet- hing positive — Fayetteville Technical Communit y College. Student loan repayment relief benef its in the CARES Act are set to expire Dec. 31. Borrowers with questi- ons should contact the Department of Education or their federal loan servicer. Support your local business today! FOOD DELIVERY

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