While parts of the country are reopening and working on recovering economically, personal financial recovery seems much harder for many people. Below are tips for managing student debt and mortgages to help you get back on track.
Student Loans Assistance
Through the CARES act, the principal and interest payment on all federally held student loans was suspended through Sept. 30, 2020. These suspended payments count towards any loan forgiveness programs, provided that all other payments are met. Learn more here.
If, after that point, you can’t afford your loan payments due to Coronavirus-related financial hardship, there are options available to you. However, those options depend on who holds the loan. Privately held loans depend on the financial institution, and federally held loans have their own set of options. Learn more about the next steps to take if you can’t afford your loan payments right now.
Important note: if someone contacts you and asks you to pay a fee to suspend your payments, this is a scam! The federal government and legitimate lending institutions will not ask you to pay a fee, and you do not need to pay someone to assist you with your student loans. Learn more about student loan scams and what to do here.
Mortgage and Housing Assistance
The CARES act created protections for homeowners with federally or Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) funded or backed mortgages. This includes FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac mortgages. Follow this link to learn about the options for mortgage forbearance and relief and which ones you qualify for.
If you’re going to request mortgage forbearance or relief for your federally or GSE loan, you’ll need to provide them with specific information. Here’s what you need to have to be prepared.
If your mortgage is privately held through a bank, contact the lender directly. Many are offering programs of their own to assist homeowners during this time.
Once the requested assistance has been granted, you’ll need to take some steps to continue protecting yourself. This applies to both federal/GSE loans and any relief received from private lenders.
Renters living in federal assistance housing or whose landlord has a federal or GSE backed loan are safe from eviction during the pandemic under the CARES act. Learn more here.
If you’ve tried contacting your lender or landlord and haven’t been able to reach them or they’ve refused assistance, you may file a complaint with The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. They will work to get you an answer, usually within 15 days. Homeowners use this link. Renters, start here.
Still have questions about how to recover financially? Put them in the comments, and we’ll try to answer them for you!