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How Does the CARES Act Affect Student Loans

Updated: Sep 30, 2020

There have been enormous amounts of information circulating about the CARES Act. When in doubt, dissect each topic one at a time so you can get a better grasp of the topic and see how it may apply to you. One of the biggest topics is how the CARES Act is affecting student loans.

There is definitely relief from student loans under this act but you need to be super diligent in reading the information because not all student loans are covered. There are about 20% of borrowers that will fall into this category.

What Loans Aren't Covered

In reviewing the CARES Act in regard to what is covered, you must check carefully. These are the loans you will find aren't covered:

*Family Federal Education Loan Program (FFELP) that are commercially owned


*Private Loans

It can be difficult to tell from just the servicer because many of them will handle government and non-government loans so you may need to do a little digging. Here is what you need to do.

Fist, go to the student aid website and login.



-Loan type

If you have a direct loan, then you are covered. If you have an FFEL loan, you will need to download the NSLDS Text File. Try looking for something like this:

  • Loan Contact Type: Current Lender

  • Loan Contact Name: S. Dept of Ed/2008-2009 LPCP

There is also a FAQ page that can be quite helpful.

What can you do?

The good news is, a lot of loan servicers are trying to work with borrowers. You can try calling 1-800-4-FED-AID or your servicer. You may be able to talk directly to the servicer as some are voluntarily waving interest and suspending penalties. Be certain to check each loan if you have multiple because some may be covered while others aren't.

It is an unprecedented time so there are a lot of questions left unanswered. Be sure to cover all your bases and ask lots of questions as loan servicers are all different.

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