Consumer Alert: Payments on Federal Student Loans Will Resume in October

Federal Student Loan repayments are set to resume in October 2023. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for payments to restart.

Why are payments resuming?

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, the federal government paused student loan payments and set interest rates to 0% for eligible federal student loans. The national COVID-19 emergency ended on May 11, 2023, and Congress recently passed a law preventing further extensions of the payment pause. Student loan interest will resume starting on September 1, 2023, and borrowers will have to restart payments in October. The U.S. Department of Education will notify borrowers before payments restart. Loan servicers should also provide borrowers with billing statements or notices at least 21 days before their first payments are due.

Borrowers who have both private and federal loans should note that while they may have made payments on their private loans during the pandemic, their monthly loan repayment costs may soon increase with the resumption of federal loan payments.

Borrowers who graduated during the COVID-19 emergency should pay special attention to the restart of federal loan payments, as they have not been required to make payments on their federal loans before, but will be required begin making payments soon.

What can you do now to prepare for repayments to resume?

  • Ensure you can log on to the U.S. Department of Education’s website at and that your contact information is up-to-date and accurate.
  • Ensure you can log on to your student loan servicer’s website and that your contact information is up-to-date and accurate.
  • Determine what your loan payment will be by logging into your student loan servicer’s website.
  • If you cannot afford your student loan payment, you may wish to consider enrolling in an income driven repayment plan (IDR plan). An IDR plan bases the size of your payments on your income and family size and may make your payments more affordable. You can use the Department of Education’s Loan Simulator tool to choose a loan repayment option that best meets your needs and goals.
  • If you had a federal student loan in default prior to March 13, 2020, consider enrolling in the U.S. Department of Educations’ Fresh Start program.
  • Watch out for student loan debt relief scams.

Update on student loan debt relief:

Recently, the Supreme Court issued a decision blocking the Department of Education’s student loan debt relief plan, which would have forgiven $10,000-$20,000 per borrower in student loan debt.


Other Frequently Asked Questions on Return to Repayment:

How do I find out who my Federal student loan servicer is?

There are two ways to identify your loan servicer:

  1. Visit your account dashboard on and scroll down to the “My Loan Servicers” section, or
  2. Call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.

Here are the servicers who handle federal student loans:

Some borrowers may have had their loan transferred to a new servicer during the payment pause. If your loan was transferred to a new servicer:

  • You should have received an email or letter from your previous servicer informing you of the transfer and a welcome letter from the new servicer after they received your loans. The letter will include contact information for the new servicer.
  • There should not be a change in the terms of your loans.
  • You should follow your new servicer’s instructions for creating an online account and confirm your contact information is up-to-date and accurate. When payments resume, you should send your loan payments to your new servicer.
  • If you believe your loans have been transferred and you have not heard from your new servicer, contact your old servicer regarding the status of your transfer.
  • If you believe there was an error made during the transfer of your loan, you should contact your new servicer. You may also want to submit a complaint to the Department of Education and OAG’s Office of Consumer Protection.

How do I find out how much my student loan payment is?

You should receive a billing statement or notice at least 21 days before your first payment is due. This statement or notice will include the payment amount and due date. You should also be able to check your payment amount and due date on your loan servicer’s website.

Do I need to recertify my income driven repayment plan?

If you are enrolled in an income-based repayment (IDR) plan, your servicer will reach out by email or mail to let you know when you will need to recertify. The earliest you will be required to recertify is six months after payments resume.

If you have had a drop in your income since you last recertified, you may want to recertify early and get a new payment amount based on your current income. You can recertify early by going to the IDR application and selecting either “Recertify Your Plan” or, if you want to also update your payment amount, “Recalculate My Monthly Payment.”

How do I make a payment?

Each servicer will have its own way of handling payments, likely through the servicers’ website. To confirm how to make a payment, contact your servicer.

Will my automatic payments restart?

Automatic payments will not restart automatically for most borrowers. If you enrolled in an automatic payment plan with your servicer prior to March 13, 2020, these payments will not restart automatically. Your servicer will contact you to confirm whether you want to restart automatic payments. If you want automatic payments to resume, you must confirm this with your loan servicer. If you don’t respond, the servicer will cancel your automatic payment enrollment.

If you set up auto-debit after March 13, 2020, automatic payments should resume. If you have questions about automatic payments or would like to enroll in automatic payments now, contact your servicer.

What should I do if my loans were in default prior to the payment pause?

The student loan payments pause included a pause of collections on defaulted loans. Collection efforts, including collection calls and wage garnishment, will resume one year after the payment pause ends—no later than September 2024.

For borrowers who defaulted on their loans prior to March 13, 2020, the Department of Education has created a Fresh Start program, which temporarily offers special benefits for borrowers to help them get out of default.

What should I do if I have an unprocessed Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) form?

As of July 2022, MOHELA has been the student loan servicer responsible for administering public service loan forgiveness (PSLF). Borrowers pursuing PSLF will have their loans transferred to MOHELA for servicing upon the approval of their submitted PSLF form. You can check the status of your PSLF application on MOHELA’s website.

If you believe you are entitled to PSLF discharge now but your PSLF form is still pending, contact MOHELA about your form and the return to repayment.

What should I do if I have an unprocessed IDR adjustment?

Federal law provides that borrowers enrolled in an income driven repayment (IDR) plan will have their student debt canceled in full after 20 or 25 years of qualifying repayments (depending on the plan). In the past, if you were enrolled in an IDR plan, there were a variety of reasons why some months may not have been credited toward the 20- or 25-year forgiveness term—for example, months when you were in a payment plan that wasn’t eligible. To rectify this, the Department of Education is reviewing payment counts for all borrowers and, if necessary, providing a one-time adjustment to credit borrowers for months that previously did not count toward the 20- or 25-year forgiveness term. This should happen automatically. Processing the one-time adjustment may continue through 2024. If you don’t reach the forgiveness milestone (20 or 25 years) with the adjustment, you will need to enroll in an eligible plan after payments resume to continue accruing credit toward forgiveness.

With the one-time adjustment, if you believe that you will reach your IDR forgiveness milestone before August 1, 2023, then your loans should be discharged before student loan payments restart. If your loans are not discharged, contact your servicer.

After your servicer has your updated payment count, if you think there is an error with the payment count, contact your servicer. You can also submit a complaint to the Department of Education and OAG’s Office of Consumer Protection.