Private Student Loan Relief Announced for Borrowers in Multiple States During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Borrowers in multiple states—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington state—who have private student loans and are affected by COVID-19 can get payment relief under a recent agreement.

By , Attorney

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has coordinated a multi-state agreement with over a dozen loan servicers to provide assistance to borrowers with private student loans who aren't covered by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act applies to Direct Loans, as well as FFEL loans, but only those FFEL loans that are owned by the U.S. Department of Education—not FFELs that are owned by other entities. Borrowers with private student loans and Perkins Loans held by entities other than the Department of Education also don't get relief under this federal law.

Under the multi-state agreement, however, borrowers in ten states who have private student loans and commercially-held federal loans can postpone making their payments for three months.

What States Are Included in the Agreement?

This agreement provides relief for borrowers in the following states:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • Vermont
  • Virginia, and
  • Washington.

What Kind of Relief Is Available?

Under the agreement, borrowers who are impacted by COVID-19 can get a 90-day forbearance on payments and a waiver of late payment fees.

Also, the servicer has to:

  • report any missed payment that's subject to forbearance or another repayment accommodation to the credit reporting bureaus as current
  • cease debt collection lawsuits for 90 days, and
  • work with eligible borrowers to enroll them in other applicable borrower assistance programs, like an income-based repayment plan.

Don't just stop making your payments, though. Borrowers have to contact their student loan servicer to get relief. This requirement is a major difference between the multi-state agreement and the CARES Act. (Under the CARES Act, payment suspensions are automatic.)

Which Servicers Are Providing Relief to Borrowers?

The following servicers are currently included in the agreement (additional servicers may sign on later):

  • Aspire Resources, Inc.
  • College Ave Student Loan Servicing, LLC
  • Discover Financial Servicers
  • Earnest Operations
  • Edfinancial
  • Figure Lending, LLC
  • Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation
  • Launch Servicing, LLC
  • Lendkey Technologies, Inc.
  • Navient
  • Nelnet
  • Reunion Student Loan Finance Corporation
  • Rhode Island Student Loan Authority
  • SoFi Lending Corp.
  • Tuition Options
  • United Guaranty Services, Inc.
  • Upstart Network, Inc.
  • Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority, and
  • Vermont Student Assistance Corporation.

Getting Help

If you have trouble getting your servicer to help you, contact your state Attorney General's office and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Visit the State of Illinois Governor's website to learn more about available student loan relief under this agreement.

Effective date: April 21, 2020