"After staying in a hotel for a week because Hurricane Harvey flooded her Texas hometown, Patience Wieland was relieved to find out that her student loan servicer had placed her monthly payments on hold," according to U.S. News & World Report.
"Some lenders, including the Department of Education's student loan service providers, are offering hurricane-affected borrowers forbearance as a short-term form of financial relief. Forbearance allows borrowers to either stop making payments temporarily or reduce a monthly payment on a short-term basis.
'I found it refreshing that the federal loan programs automatically arranged a month's forbearance for hurricane-damaged areas like Houston for my loan,' says Wieland, from Friendswood, Texas, where many residential homes flooded. 'I didn't have to call. I received an email and a paper notice from my student loan service provider Great Lakes.'
Wieland says the service provider must have enacted the payment option based on her ZIP code.
'Forbearance extended my loan a little. And I'll pay a little more interest, but it also means one less thing to worry about when other people's needs are more pressing,' says Wieland, who has several friends and neighbors with a long recovery ahead of them.
The Department of Education gives student loan borrowers who are impacted by recent hurricanes a couple of financial support options, such as forbearance and ceasing collections.
'Borrowers in impacted areas are provided forbearances upon request for up to 90 days. In the event a borrower is or becomes delinquent, we will automatically place them on a forbearance and make it retroactive to before the delinquency, and place it on their account for up to 30 days,' a Department of Education spokesperson said via email."
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Publication Date: 10/13/2017