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Home > Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information > COVID-19 and Student Loan Relief

COVID-19 and Student Loan Relief

The State of New Jersey is working to lessen the financial impact of COVID-19 on residents who are struggling to pay their student loans. On April 21st, Governor Murphy announced that a number of servicers have committed to providing relief for student loan borrowers in New Jersey. The state expects more servicers to join the effort to assist New Jerseyans by committing to providing this relief.

List of Servicers Providing
Student Loan Relief

Under this initiative, the Governor announced that New Jerseyans who are struggling with the COVID-19 crisis may be eligible for the relief upon contacting their loan servicer. Under the initiative, the state has secured relief options with private student loan servicers to expand on the protections the federal government granted to federal student loan borrowers under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Relief options include:

  • Providing a minimum of 90 days of forbearance relief for borrowers; 
  • Waiving late payment fees for borrowers;
  • Ensuring no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting;
  • Ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days; and
  • Working with eligible borrowers to enroll them in other applicable borrower assistance programs.
 
Questions and answers on student loan relief

How do I know if I am eligible for student loan relief under this initiative?
These new options stand to benefit an estimated 200,000 New Jerseyans with privately held student loans. These loans were not covered under the CARES Act. A list of participating servicers may be found here.

How do I get student loan relief and/or forbearance?
You should contact and work directly with your student loan servicer to learn about and apply for available relief.

How long will the forbearance last?
If your servicer is participating in the initiative, they will provide at a minimum of 90 days of forbearance relief for borrowers.  However, the terms of a forbearance will be agreed to between you and your loan servicer. Servicers will confirm the eligibility and terms of the forbearance program.

What effect will this have on my credit report?
Servicers will not report derogatory information (e.g., late payments) to credit reporting agencies but may report a forbearance, which typically does not alone negatively affect a credit score.

How long will these programs last?
It is still unclear how severe or how long the COVID-19 impacts will be. Servicers have committed to necessary relief and will be assessing the ongoing conditions and necessity of continuing relief.

What if my servicer or financial institution isn’t listed as offering this relief?
At this time, more than a dozen servicers that are servicing loans for 200,000 New Jerseyans as well as those under New Jersey’s Higher Education Student Assistance Authority are supporting these commitments. The state will welcome any other servicers or institutions that would like to provide much-needed financial relief to New Jerseyans. A full list of participating servicers may be found here.

Additionally, many student loan servicers have been working with borrowers during this time period. Consumers should contact their loan servicer to understand what options are available to them.

What if I already made a payment or was charged with a fee because of COVID-19?
These measures go into effect as of April 21, 2020.

I don’t see my bank or servicer listed, what should I do?
You should contact the institution that services your loan to request information about any available programs offered in response to COVID-19.

What if my loan servicer is not communicative or cooperative?
You can file a complaint with the Department of Banking and Insurance through the complaint form on the department website (https://www.state.nj.us/dobi/consumer.htm) or by contacting the department at (609) 292-7272 or 1-800-446-7467 (9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST Monday through Friday).

What if my loan is through New Jersey’s Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA)?
Borrowers with loans from the New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students (NJCLASS) program can apply for payment relief programs that fully meet the terms of today’s agreement with other private student loan servicers. HESAA is committed to supporting NJCLASS borrowers during the pandemic emergency, and is providing relief for borrowers experiencing illness, unemployment, or financial hardship, suspended involuntary collection activities, and has taken steps to protect borrowers’ credit.

For more information, see these COVID-19 related Questions and Answers for NJCLASS borrowers: https://www.hesaa.org/Documents/Misc/NJCLASS_Q_n_A.pdf

How do I know if I have a private loan or federal loan?
Borrowers with private student loans can check the contact information on their monthly billing statements.

Borrowers with federal loans may be eligible for student loan relief under the CARES Act. More information on the CARES Act may be found here.

To determine the types of federal loans they have and who their servicers are, borrowers can visit the U.S. Department of Education's National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at nslds.ed.gov or call the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243or 1-800-730-8913 (TDD).

Servicers Providing Student Loan Relief

In addition to NJ HESAA, the following are private student loan servicers providing relief:

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 Corp.
Nelnet, Inc.
SoFi Lending Corp.
Tuition Options, LLC
Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority (UHEAA)
Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC)
Updated April 22, 2020
 
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