At the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), we understand the challenges and sacrifices Pennsylvania families make to afford higher education. To help ease that burden during the COVID-19 National Pandemic, in early May, the PHEAA Board of Directors joined with PA Treasurer Torsella to ask Governor Wolf for his support to allocate up to $2.2 million for student loan relief from the funds received by the Commonwealth as part of the CARES Act. On May 29, that budget package was passed into law, which allows PHEAA to temporarily reduce your interest rate to 0% and postpone payments on your PHEAA-owned student loans beginning March 13, 2020 through September 30, 2020. This initiative is perfectly aligned with the primary goal of the CARES Act – to provide relief for Pennsylvanians who face financial challenges due to COVID-19.

What These Benefits Mean For You

These relief benefits are being extended to your private student loan by:

  • Automatically pausing payments for borrowers in repayment status through September 30, 2020
  • Setting the loan interest rate to 0% through September 30, 2020
  • Backdating the 0% interest rate reduction to start March 13, 2020

How This Impacts Your Loans

Please select your repayment status for details specific to your PHEAA-owned loans.

0% Interest Rate:

  • The interest rate on your loan will be temporarily reduced to 0% through September 30, 2020.
  • We will automatically apply this new rate to your account retroactively back to March 13, 2020.

Temporary Suspension of Payments:

  • You will automatically be placed on a forbearance, which will temporarily suspend monthly payments.
  • The forbearance will be retroactively applied back to March 13, 2020, and will last through September 30, 2020.
  • If principal and interest payments were made since March 13, 2020, any interest paid will be reapplied to your principal balance.
  • You may continue making payments as you normally did by requesting this forbearance be removed at any time by calling 1-800-233-0557. If the forbearance is removed, required payments will resume and payments made will be applied to the principal balance.
  • Even if you cancel the forbearance, you will continue to receive the reduced interest rate of 0% through September 30, 2020.
  • Any past due payments have been covered by a forbearance bringing your account current; however, any past due interest you had prior to March 13, 2020 was capitalized and added to your principal balance.
  • Any late fees charged since March 13, 2020 have been reversed.
  • These relief efforts will not disqualify you from any current or future borrower benefit such as co-signer release, etc.
  • While these benefits are applied to your account, you will not receive any billing statements. Closer to the end of the forbearance period, you will receive a bill indicating when your next payment will be due.

Direct Debit

  • If you are enrolled in Direct Debit, your payment withdrawals will be suspended as soon as these benefits have been applied to your account.
  • These benefits also suspend your 0.25% interest rate reduction; however, your rate has temporarily been reduced to 0%.
  • Once the forbearance period ends, your Direct Debit will automatically resume and payments will be withdrawn from your bank account on your next due date.
  • When billing resumes and your interest rate returns to the original rate, the 0.25% rate reduction for Direct Debit will also resume.

0% Interest Rate:

  • The interest rate on your loan will be temporarily reduced to 0% through September 30, 2020.
  • We will automatically apply this new rate to your account retroactively back to March 13, 2020.
  • Any payments made to satisfy interest that accrued since March 13, 2020 will be reapplied to your principal balance.
  • Any interest that had accrued prior to March 13, 2020 still remains due and may be capitalized and added to your principal balance if not already paid.
  • You may continue to make payments as you normally would. Payments will first cover any outstanding interest due prior to March 13, 2020, and then be applied to your principal balance.
  • While this benefit is applied to your account, you will not receive any billing statements unless you have outstanding interest prior to March 13, 2020.
  • Any past due interest payments since March 13, 2020 are no longer required due to the interest rate being temporarily reduced to 0% through September 30, 2020. You will receive a bill indicating when your next payment will be due.
  • This benefit will not disqualify you from any current or future borrower benefit such as co-signer release, etc.