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CARES Act suspends student loans for 6 months

Student loan borrowers get some temporary relief under the $2 trillion stimulus bill.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — There's a lot packed into the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill designed to help businesses and families. For the millions of Americans with student loan debt, the stimulus package provides relief as well.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES, suspends payments for all federally held student loans until Sept. 30, 2020.

Interest will not accrue on the loans during this six month period, according to the bill text.

Borrowers who are enrolled in any loan forgiveness program need not worry about getting behind on qualifying payments while their loan is suspended. 

"The Secretary shall deem each month for which a loan payment was suspended... as if the borrower of the loan had made a payment," the bill says.

The Act also suspends involuntary collections related to the loan, including wage garnishments, tax refunds and Social Security benefits.  

Under the CARES Act, the secretary of education must notify borrowers within 15 days of the bill's enactment of the changes to their loans.

Beginning August 1, the secretary must also provide six notices to borrowers indicating when their payments will resume and options to enroll in an income-driven repayment plan.

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