Gov. Northam announces additional relief for private student loan borrowers


RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has announced there will be expanded relief options for those with student loans.

Northam announced Wednesday that the 200,000 Virginians who have privately-held student loans will be able to get some financial relief thanks to an initiative by Virginia and other states to work with major private student loan servicers, the governor’s office wrote in a news release.

The CARES Act provided some relief for students who have federal loans, including suspending monthly payments, interest and involuntary collection activity through Sept. 30.

However, the new initiative aims to help Virginians with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) loans, Perkins loans, or privately held student loans.

Borrowers who have seen changes in their income since the COVID-19 pandemic began should “immediately” contact their student loan providers to see what their relief options are. Those could include:

  • Providing a minimum of 90 days of forbearance
  • Waiving late payment fees
  • Ensuring that no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting
  • Ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days
  • Working with borrower to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment

“Virginians are facing unprecedented hardships as a result of this ongoing public health crisis, and student loan borrowers should not have to deal with the added pressure of how they are going to make their loan payments,” Northam said in the release. “This initiative will provide an important financial lifeline and repayment flexibility to Virginia residents who were not eligible for relief under the CARES Act.”

Other states involved in the initiative include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont and Washington.

  • Private student loan servicers providing relief include:
  • Aspire Resources, Inc.
  • College Ave Student Loan Servicing, LLC
  • Earnest Operations, LLC
  • Edfinancial Services, LLC
  • Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation
  • Lendkey Technologies, Inc.
  • Higher Education Loan Authority of the State of Missouri (MOHELA)
  • Navient
  • Nelnet, Inc.
  • Scratch
  • SoFi Lending Corp.
  • Tuition Options, LLC
  • United Guaranty Services, Inc.
  • Upstart Network, Inc.
  • Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority (UHEAA)
  • Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC)

Borrowers can visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid or call Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 or 1-800-730-8913 (TDD) for more information.

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