The federal student loan forbearance interest-free payment pause will continue through Sept. 30, 2021, via President Joe Biden’s executive order on Inauguration Day.

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Federal Student Aid began providing temporary relief on ED-owned federal student loans that included the suspension of loan payments, stopped collections on defaulted loans and provided a 0% interest rate in March of 2020. Later that month, the COVID Emergency Relief Flexibilities became law as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the forbearance policy does not apply to private student loans. The policy is only applicable for federal student loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education, including Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

The current loan forbearance is temporary and does not require borrowers to make payments. However, absent any future extension, payments will resume Oct. 1, 2021.

The ongoing extension provides individuals the opportunity to explore options for loans and avoid defaulting.

Borrowers can still make payments to their student loans during this payment pause. Financial advisors suggest considering making payments to lower your overall debt for those whose finances haven’t been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once repayment resumes, you’ll receive a billing statement or notice at least 21 days before your payment is due.

As stated by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Federal Student Aid, you don’t have to pay to get 0% interest or suspended payments for your student loans. Some companies may charge a fee to give you repayment help for federal student loans during the COVID-19 emergency. These companies are not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S Department of Education.

For more information, visit Federal Student Aid, a U.S. Department of Education office at

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