Iowa colleges, universities prepare students for student loan freeze end

With the federal student loan freeze coming to an end soon, Iowa’s universities and colleges are educating their students on what the next steps are to pay back their loans.

The U.S. Department of Education suspended federal student loan payments in March 2020. Both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden have extended the forbearance several times as the COVID-19 pandemic raged on. Without another extension, the freeze is set to end Sept. 30.

While loan servicers are responsible for contacting graduates, the University of Northern Iowa has been working with current students and recent graduates to understand what the freeze’s end means for them, said Director of Financial Aid Tim Bakula.

“I think the freeze ending is top of mind for many people that have had their loans in this forbearance period for the last 16 months,” he said. “As a college in this, we want to help ensure our borrowers understand what their options are and help them avoid default by making appropriate decisions for themselves.”

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