DeVos suspends federal student loan payments and waives interest in national emergency

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that the Office of Federal Student Aid was fulfilling President Donald J. Trump’s promise to provide student loan relief to tens of millions of borrowers during the national COVID-19 emergency.

All borrowers with student loans held by the federal government will automatically have their interest rates set at 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will be able to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their payments without worrying about accrued interest.

“These are anxious times, especially for students and families whose studies, careers and lives have been disrupted,” DeVos said. “Right now everyone should be focusing on safety and health, not worrying about their student loan balance increasing. I commend President Trump for his swift action on this issue, and I hope it will provide meaningful help and peace of mind to those in need. “

DeVos has ordered all federal student loan departments to grant administrative forbearance to any borrower on a loan held by the federal government who requests it. The abstention will be in effect for a period of at least 60 days, starting March 13. To request this forbearance, borrowers should contact their loan department online or by phone. The secretary also authorized an automatic suspension of payments for any borrower who is more than 31 days past due as of March 13, or becomes more than 31 days past due, essentially providing borrowers with a safety net during the national emergency.

Some borrowers may want to continue making payments, such as those requesting a civil service loan forgiveness or those on a repayment plan with a manageable monthly payment. For borrowers who continue to make payments, the full amount of their payment will be applied to the principal amount of their loan after all accrued interest prior to the President’s March 13 announcement has been paid. The department will work closely with Congress to ensure that all student borrowers, including those on income-driven repayment plans, receive the support they need during this emergency.

Any borrower who has experienced a change in income can contact their loan officer to discuss the drop in their monthly payment.

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