After a long pause due to the pandemic, student loans are soon due again.
Interest will begin to accrue starting September 1st for the first time since March 2020, and payments will resume next month.
Nearly 44 million Americans will soon have to start paying off their student loans.
"It's been 3 years, and there's been so many changes. And there's a lot of new options for students to maybe have their loans forgiven," said Kelly Russell, Assistant Vice President of Student Financial Resources at Fresno State.
Kelly Russell says it's important to use the government's website, Student Aid.Gov, to find out where to make payments.
"I think the biggest thing for a student or alumni, that their loans are kicking in is just to make sure that they're asking questions, call their loan servicer, ask questions," said Russell.
Karen McCarthy with the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators says there's help for borrowers who need it, but don't put it off.
"So, it's always a good idea not to panic or put your head in the sand about these things to do the research, make sure that you are in an appropriate repayment plan that will work for you," said McCarthy.
McCarthy says StudentAid.gov has a loan simulator available to get an idea of how much your payments might be.
"For students or borrowers who are really struggling, do not say, perhaps, think that they will be able to pay anything at all towards their student loans. They may want to consider one of the income-driven repayment plans where they will document your income level, and the payments under one of those plans can be as low as $0," said McCarthy.
The newest income-driven plan which will kick in next year is the SAVE plan, and it will: bring loan payments for low-income borrowers down to $0 per month, those making more, will save at least $1,000 per year, the balance of the loan won't grow, as long as payments are made, and provide early forgiveness for low-balance borrowers.
The Department of Education is also providing an "on-ramp" for borrowers.
"But they will not be reporting delinquencies to credit bureaus for the first year of re-repayments, and part of that is an acknowledgment that there's a lot that everybody has to do to get this engine rolling again," said McCarthy.
You will not need to start paying your loans again until after October, and everyone's date varies.
If you recently graduated, you do not need to make payments until around six months after leaving school.