Paid Any Student Loans Since March 2020? Now’s the Time To Get That Money Back

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Approving relief to millions of Americans, President Joe Biden recently announced that he is canceling $10,000 in federal student loan debt for each eligible borrower. Those who received Pell Grants to attend college will be able to get up to $20,000 of their loans forgiven.

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The student loan payment moratorium — in effect since March 13, 2020 — was extended until Dec. 31. Although the vast majority of borrowers have taken advantage of this pause, there are a conscientious few who have made loan payments throughout the moratorium. Student loan expert Mark Kantrowitz, citing U.S. Education Department data, noted that as of December 2021, 1.2% of American student loan borrowers had continued making their required payments after the moratorium start date, The Wall Street Journal reported.  

If you’re among that group, you’re either putting a dent in your balance or have paid off the debt entirely. Either way, you are eligible to request a refund.

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s site, “You can get a refund for any payment (including auto-debit payments) you make during the payment pause.” The site instructs borrowers to contact their loan servicer to request that their payments be refunded.

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To identify your loan servicer, log in to your FSA account on the website and check the “My Loan Servicers” section on your dashboard, or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-433-3243. You can find a list of all of the federal loan servicers for loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education here.

A refund of your payments will bump your student debt balance back up to what it was prior to the March 13, 2020 moratorium starting date, Time reported. However, you can then apply for loan forgiveness — up to $10,000 or, if you received a Pell Grant, $20,000. The Department of Education is working on the loan-forgiveness application, which is expected to be available by early October.

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To sign up for updates on loan forgiveness, including availability of the loan-forgiveness application, subscribe to Federal Student Loan Borrower Updates on the Education Department’s Subscriptions page, located here.

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About the Author

David Nadelle is a freelance editor and writer based in Ottawa, Canada. After working in the energy industry for 18 years, he decided to change careers in 2016 and concentrate full-time on all aspects of writing. He recently completed a technical communication diploma and holds previous university degrees in journalism, sociology and criminology. David has covered a wide variety of financial and lifestyle topics for numerous publications and has experience copywriting for the retail industry.
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