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Student Loan Forbearance During COVID Leads to Payment Confusion & Disappointment for Some Borrowers

note pad that reads "student debt" in a pile of money

While the COVID-19 pandemic may have seemed to eclipse every other major worry many of us could have pondered since spring of this year, student loan debt has remained at the forefront in terms of financial issues. Long deemed a crisis, the cumulative student loan debt in the US has risen past $1.6 trillion for borrowers of all ages who struggle to pay back, leaving over 45 million accounts in constant question.

You may have still been beholden to credit card, mortgage, and auto companies, but as a student loan borrower, it sounded as if there would be relief in the spring. Big headlines were made as the CARES Act not only helped many financially with stimulus checks and other programs, but also included deferments on many different federal student loans throughout the end of the year. The key to understand, however, is that many federal loans were covered, but so many were not. For example, if you had an older Family Federal Education Loan (FFEL) program loan or Perkins loan, eligibility may have been denied.

Unfortunately, numerous borrowers have come forth not only confused, but extremely distressed to find out that they were supposed to be paying on their student loan debts all along due to ineligibility for relief—and are on the line for multiple late pays and added interest—not to mention the damage to their credit reports.

If you have private student loan debt, any assistance regarding COVID-19 hardships would have to be taken up with the private loan servicer. Companies like Navient began offering one-month deferments after July, and many other companies may be willing to help or negotiate, especially if you are beginning to see delinquencies mount and need to find a solution other than default.

“With private student loans, a borrower has to request forbearance. It is not automatic. Even the special 90-day COVID-19 forbearance has to be requested,” said Mark Kantrowitz of

Speak with an attorney experienced not only in student loan debt, but also overall debt protection if you find yourself concerned about other large sums of money owed too, including medical debtcredit card debtauto debt, and more.

Have you experienced problems with your loan service provider or student loan program, or are you in danger of defaulting on your student loan? 

Speak with an attorney from Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC as soon as possible to examine your options. Our attorneys have decades of experience in serving clients as they navigate through challenging financial situations, to include student loan issues, bankruptcy, and other debt management processes. We are here to help! Click here to schedule a free 30-minute consultation, call us at (844) 431-3851, or email us at

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