Are you struggling during the pandemic? The federal government is extending relief and protections for many student loan borrowers, renters, and homeowners who are having trouble making payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keep reading to learn more about these important updates that may help you. But, remember the COVID-19 pandemic and relief efforts continue to change and develop. Check our COVID-19 webpage for more information.
Payments suspended for federally-owned student loans
Principal and interest payments on federally-held student loans are automatically suspended through September 30, 2021.
If you have federally owned student loans, you don’t need to contact your student loan servicer or take any action. However, make sure your servicer has your up-to-date contact information and continue to check your mail or email for updates or information about your loans.
Suspended payments through September 30, 2021, will count towards any student loan forgiveness programs, as long as all other requirements are met.
Protection from evictions for renters
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced an extension to their current order that halts certain residential evictions. The extension stops evictions until at least March 31, 2021.
If you already get rental help from HUD, and your income has changed, ask for income recertification.
Mortgage relief protections and options
There are two primary federal protections: forbearance and a foreclosure moratorium.
If you have a mortgage-backed by VA, USDA, FHA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac, you have the right to request an initial forbearance of up to 180 days on your mortgage and a forbearance extension for up to 180 days if you have a COVID-related financial hardship.
- For mortgages backed by the FHA, USDA or, VA, the deadline to request an initial forbearance is June 30, 2021.
- Mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not currently have a deadline for requesting an initial forbearance.
If you are already in forbearance and need more time:
- If your mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac: You may request one additional three-month extension, up to a maximum of 15 months of total forbearance. But to qualify, you must be in a COVID forbearance plan as of February 28, 2021, so don’t delay contacting your servicer if you’re having trouble paying your mortgage and are not in a forbearance plan.
- If your mortgage is backed by FHA, USDA, or VA, you may request two additional three-month extensions, up to a maximum of 18 months of total forbearance. But to qualify, you must have received your initial forbearance on or before June 30, 2020. Check with your servicer about the options available.
- If your mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, your lender or loan servicer cannot foreclose on your home until after March 31, 2021.
- If your mortgage is backed by FHA, USDA, or VA, your lender or loan servicer cannot foreclose on your home until after June 30, 2021.