NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Federal student loans are starting up for the first time in three years. The U.S. Department of Education said more than 40 million Americans are borrowers.

In October, payments will resume, and interest began in September. According to Federal Student Aid, people will get their bill at least 21 days before their due date.

While some have been repaying loans for years, and even decades, for more recent graduates, this is new territory.

“This is just a whole new universe of change, and problems, and seeking solutions,” said Dennis Gregory, Ph.D., an associate professor of higher education and community college leadership at Old Dominion University.

An issue they could face is adjusting their budgets.

“They have, perhaps, not been budgeting to the point where they can include loan payments in their monthly budgets,” Gregory said.

For any borrower, he suggests using online tools. Websites such as can be a helpful resource to reduce payments and find the best plan.

Gregory advises that people choose the options that meet their needs and makes it as easy as possible.

And, for borrowers of certain income levels, you may qualify for lower payments.

On the website, they have a simulator available where people can input their information and it will give them different options.

While a period, called the “on-ramp,” will shield borrowers from typical consequences with a missed payment, interest is building. If at all possible, Gregory recommends not waiting to start paying loans.

“Do it now and get it taken care of,” Gregory said. “But, make sure you investigate the options that you have.”

To be informed, you can also speak with loan servicers and financial aid advisors.

Find more information at the link here.