When Congress passed the $2.2 trillion emergency economic legislation in late March, it provided relief for student loan borrowers of federal loans only. Borrowers with private loans were excluded, but help may be on the way.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York has announced an agreement with the largest loan servicers in New York state to provide relief to 300,000 private student loan borrowers who are state residents. And several members of the Senate Banking and Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions committees, led by Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, are advocating for even broader relief for private student loan borrowers nationwide.
The New York State Department of Financial Services reached agreements with Navient, Nelnet, PHEAA, MOHELA and other private student loan servicers to defer payment collections for 90 days, waive late fees and refrain from reporting negative data to credit bureau agencies. Servicers also agreed to cease debt collection lawsuits for 90 days and work with eligible borrowers to enroll them in other applicable borrower assistance programs, according to the DFS. Student loan borrowers are advised to contact their student loan servicer to obtain this relief.
“At a time where many are suffering financial hardship due to COVID-19 it is imperative that all regulated industries work with consumers to provide relief,” Linda A. Lacewell, superintendent of the state’s Department of Financial Services, said in a statement. “We appreciate the largest student loan servicers and lenders in New York and the nation stepping forward with a thoughtful plan to help New York student loan borrowers.”