SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — After you graduate college or leave school you’re typically given a six-month grace period before you have to start making payments on your student loans.
As a result of the pandemic, there was a three-year pause on federal student loan payments.
“It is unprecedented,” said Vicki Brackens, who is the president of Brackens Financial Solutions Network. “Will it ever happen again? Who knows, but I cannot think of any time in past history where we had a situation like this.”
In October, you’ll have to hit play on your federal loan repayments. And a month earlier in September the loan interest will resume. Brackens urges you to contact your loan servicer and find out how much you actually owe.
“That is the first question because it’s been, and there are some individuals who actually graduated hadn’t started their student loans. So, they don’t really have a full idea of how the system works,” Brackens said.
She said it’s important to make sure the numbers match up to your records because mistakes can be made. She also suggests asking your status, because if you’re back in school you may not have to pay, and if they have your correct contact information. And if you’ll have a challenge with repaying.
“Ask if there are any other types of programs that are available that you might be eligible for – graduated loan payments, income-based repayment plans, et cetera. If not, then sit with a professional who can help you go through your budget currently,” said Brackens.
Brackens said, “Legislation that was passed during the Pandemic under the SECURE Act and enhanced under the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022. Made it possible to use funds from a 529 plan to pay off up to $10,000 Student loan debt for the beneficiary of the 529 plan and each sibling of the beneficiary. As an example a Family with two children can take a maximum of $10K per child and use their 529 plan proceeds to pay off student loan debt. This is true even if the beneficiary of the 529 plan is not the child receiving other plan expenses from the 529 Plan.”
She added it’s a great option for parents/grandparents who have money in a dormant 529 plan.
So far there hasn’t been any action on President Biden’s plans to cancel student loans. The Supreme Court still hasn’t made a decision.
If you’re looking to learn more, you can head to her WEBSITE.