Payments for federal student loans have been on pause since March 13th, 2020 as a direct response to the novel coronavirus, massive work from home orders, and layoffs that were hitting all parts of the economy. Since that day, no payments have been due and no interest has accrued, meaning that a borrower’s balance will be no higher today than it was 2 years ago (unless they borrowed more money). 

However, it was always possible, and sometimes encouraged, to make payments during that period. It was a time to get ahead on some of the student loan principal and possibly lower your monthly payment once the payment pause ended. Since March 2020, there have been 7 payment pause extensions, including the one that Biden announced late last month, which extended it until January 1, 2023. He has promised that this is the last pause, although there will be some automatic adjustments to minimum payments based on income.

Because it was encouraged, some people made payments and were able to tackle the principal and bring it down below $10k – $20k, but with the announcement of forgiveness, there have been some borrowers who felt frustrated that they overpaid, since it could have been forgiven.

Well now it looks like it is possible to request a reimbursement for any money paid during the payment pause, allowing borrowers to try to maximize the amount of loans they get forgiven. As the tweet below points out, it is important to ask for a refund before applying for cancellation so that as much of your loans can be canceled as possible. The only thing that it requires is a phone call to your servicer.

Stay up to date with student debt cancellation by reading our other articles here, here, and here.

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