What you can do about it: Make sure your contact information is up to date with your current servicer, and download a copy of your payment history. You don’t need to do anything else at this point. “From an everyday experience perspective, I don’t know that it’s going to be a whole lot different than it is today,” Buchanan says of the new contract landscape. If the Department of Education transfers your loans to another servicer, your current servicer and your new one will notify you by mail, email or phone. From that point on, you’ll make

monthly payments with the new servicer, and you may need to set up any auto-pay or biweekly payments again. Most servicers deliver the same options, but customer service may differ among them.

IDR plan REPAYE revision could mean lower payments and

OTHER KEY STUDENT LOAN CHANGES UNDERWAY • “Fresh Start” program for delinquent or defaulted loans. People with past-due federal student loans now have a second chance to get them back into good standing, thanks to the government’s temporary “Fresh Start” program. It includes a bevy of benefits, like restored access to IDR plans. Eligible borrowers will need to sign up for Fresh Start within one year of forbearance ending to enjoy its full relief. You can sign up on or by calling the Education Department at 800-621-3115. • Bankruptcy guidance. The departments of Education and Justice jointly released updated bankruptcy guidance in November 2022, meant to standardize the requirements for borrowers to discharge their federal student loans in bankruptcy. Local bankruptcy judges will still make final calls case by case. Contact a bankruptcy attorney to see whether this is a good option for you.

earlier loan forgiveness for some borrowers.

• Breaking up consolidated spousal loans. In October 2022, Congress passed the Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act, which will allow borrowers who previously consolidated their student loans with a spouse — through a program that ran from 1993 until 2006 — to separate them and access debt relief programs, like Public Service Loan Forgiveness. However, lawmakers have not yet said when they’ll roll out the program for eligible borrowers to apply for the loan separation.

The article Forgiveness, Forbearance and Other Student Loan Changes to Know was originally published on NerdWallet on May 19, 2023.

ELIZA HAVERSTOCK is a writer at NerdWallet.



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