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"Wait, when do I pay?" Two key dates to know for student loan repayments

Interest started accruing again Sept. 1, and repayments must resume by Oct. 1, after the end to pandemic-related pauses to assist borrowers.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Ready or not, it’s time to “go” on what borrowers owe. The approximately 44 million Americans with student debt have been back on the clock, as of Friday, Sept. 1, when the federal government lifted its pandemic halt on student loan interest.

On Oct. 1, the government will un-pause the stop on actual payments. 


“Everyone is counting down the days, because the student loan pause is ending, and borrowers are trying to figure out what to do. For three years, there have been no payments and no interest (required),” financial literacy author and founder of Debt Sucks University Ja’Net Adams explained.


Adams said it’s crucial to know – and know the difference between – two key dates.

October 1 is when student loan repayments resume, yes, but borrowers are already accruing interest.

“Your balance has already started growing because interest on the loan started back on Sept. 1. I have been telling people to start paying now, so that their balance doesn’t grow, even if it is just the interest,” Adams suggested.


Borrowers must keep in mind three years have passed since the world crumbled and economy faltered under the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The cost of bacon is not the same today as it was in 2020. Rent prices are not the same today as they were in 2020. What does that mean? Even if your student loan payment is the same as it was in 2020, the rest of your bills cost you more, so you need to adjust your budget accordingly. Before the official student loan payments start back, now is the time to crunch your numbers to make sure you won’t be stretched thin financially going forward,” she said.


For borrowers still struggling to find steady ground with high inflation and post-pandemic employment, there are loan relief programs available upon qualification.

The SAVE program is an income-driven repayment program decreasing student loan payment based on income.

“The best part of the program is your balance will never go up, as long as you make your payments on time,” Adams said.

Ultimately, Adams emphasized, the student loan repayment re-start isn’t necessarily a negative.

“The student loan restart is nothing to be afraid of, but it is important that you prepare.”

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