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Federal student loan payments return February 2022

The federal student loan deferment, which began due to the pandemic, ends on Jan. 31.

The COVID-19 emergency relief for federal student loans will officially end on Jan. 31, 2022. 

In August 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced a final extension for student loan payments. This gave people with federal student loans the option to make payments. If a person didn't make payments, they were not penalized. That will change for millions this February when payments are once again required based on your repayment plan.

The government's website offers information about different payment options that could best fit someone's budget.

As a free advisor for student loans, Betsy Mayotte founded the Institute of Student Loan Advisors. Mayotte explains, there are quite a few different payment options to make your repayment affordable. 

“There’s over eight different payment options that borrowers can apply for,” Mayotte says.

If you would like to apply for a new repayment plan, Mayotte explains you need to make sure you're meeting deadlines. Some people moved during the pandemic so it's important to make sure your information is up to date so you don't miss any deadlines. 

“You don’t miss any important announcements about when your next payment is due, how much that might be," Mayotte added.

Here are three things to prepare for your payments when they resume:

1. Make sure your contact information is correct. 

You can do this by visiting the government's website or by your loan servicer's website.

2. Find the best repayment plan that meets your budget.

You can use the government's loan simulator to determine what your repayment options are.

3. Be aware of upcoming dates and deadlines.

Deferment ends on January 31, 2022. Be prepared to make payments after that date. Look out for emails from your loan servicer about any upcoming deadlines.

For additional information regarding student loans, you can visit the government's student federal aid website.

Editor's Note: A video from a related story that was placed at the bottom of this article indicated borrowers could potentially have money coming out of their accounts when auto-debit resumes if they were previously enrolled in autopay. The U.S. Department of Education says that's not exactly right. A spokesperson says borrowers are being contacted and asked to update their auto-debit information and indicate whether they wish to re-enroll. The related video has been removed for clarity.