Student Loans for Nurses FAQs (with Answers): Refinancing, Deferral, Low Interest Rates, and COVID-19

Nursing students across the country are being hit hard by COVID-19, especially when it comes to school, student loans, and the future of loan repayment.

On March 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the CARES Law in the law, which, among other things, reduced student loans. Although temporary, the impact it has on nurses struggling with student loans is immense.

Here are some important changes that affect student nursing loans:

  • Payments will automatically stop from March 13, 2020 to September 30, 2020.
  • Interest on ALL Federal Student Loans is currently 0%.

FAQ: Nursing Student Loans

1. Which loans go at 0% interest rates?

  • Direct loans in default and not in default
  • FFEL program loans in default and not in default
  • Federal Perkins Loans

2. Can I make payments on my federal loans while they are on hold?

Students have the option of continuing to repay their federal student loans, but it is optional. During this period, you will not be penalized for paying less than your usual monthly payment.

3. Should I continue to repay my private loans?

Yes! Unfortunately, the suspension of payments only affects federal loans. If you’re having trouble making your payments, it’s best to contact your loan service provider to discuss the options.

4. How do I refinance my private loans?

Interest rates are VERY low right now and refinancing is a smart move. When you refinance student loans, you will get a new student loan with the new lower interest rate that will allow you to pay off student loans faster. There are no fees associated with refinancing student loans, and you can refinance as many times as you want.

  1. Contact the loan manager and explain that you want to refinance your student loan
  2. Request flexible repayment options, including switching to interest-only repayment plans, suspending payments, and refinancing additional interest

>> Find out if you qualify for a nursing student loan refinance.*

5. When does the 0% interest rate stop?

Based on the implementation of the CARES Law, the 0% interest period is due to expire on September 30, 2020. All federal student loan recipients will be contacted no later than August regarding the process to restart payments.

6. Will all student loan debts be canceled?

Currently, many members of Congress have proposed partial or full cancellation of student debt. The Emergency Student Debt Relief Act proposes the following:

  • Cancellation of at least $ 30,000 of debt per borrower
  • Provide immediate relief from monthly payments to all borrowers
  • Shield borrows from involuntary blood drives during COVID-19 health crisis

Unfortunately, no one knows if this will actually happen or when, if ever. Financial advisers recommend not to assume this will happen and to continue to consider what will happen after the loans are no longer deferred.

7. My income has changed due to COVID-19 and I will no longer be able to pay my monthly payments?

First, contact your loan provider and explain the situation and discuss the possible options. For example, an income-based repayment plan might be a good option. This calculates your monthly payment based on your gross income. If you’ve already signed up for an income-based repayment plan, now is a great time to recalculate your income and payments.

8. What is the best option if I have student loans?

Refinancing is a great option right now. While the federal interest rate is 0%, it is expected to rise again in late September 2020. Most federal interest rates before COVID-19 were around 5% to 7%. Some financial advisers believe the loans will revert to their pre-interest rates in the fall.

It is a problem for nursing students everywhere. Due to the uncertainty, some recommend refinancing loans immediately when interest rates are between 3% and 4%. This allows students to pay off their loans faster, pay less money, and get out of debt faster.

Refinancing federal student loans requires students to take out a private loan to repay the federal loan. Payments would then go to the private loan company. This is an option for some, but beware.

If you repay a federal loan with a private loan, you will not be eligible for government programs such as income-tested repayment and student loan relief due to the coronavirus pandemic. Don’t refinance federal student loans unless you are sure your job is safe and you won’t need these options.

>> Check to see if you qualify for a nursing student loan refinance.*

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