200K N.J. residents with private student loans can now get financial help in coronavirus crisis

Posted Apr 21, 2020

New Jerseyans who borrowed money for college from private lenders will get the same help as those who received student loans from the federal government as the coronavirus shuts down the state’s economy.

An estimated 200,000 state residents could benefit from the policy announced Tuesday by Gov. Phil Murphy and Marlene Caride, commissioner of the state Department of Banking and Insurance.

Those borrowers who hold commercially-owned Federal Family Education Program Loans or private student loans, received no benefits from the $2 trillion stimulus law, which suspended payments, interest and attempts to collect on loans owned by the federal government until Sept. 30.

Now they will receive help.

The agreement with the private lenders postpones payments for at least 90 days, waives fees for late payments, ensures that borrowers who miss payments do not receive a negative credit rating and stops debt collection lawsuits for 90 days.

“Far too many New Jerseyans struggle with crushing student loan debt in good times, and our current crisis has only exacerbated the problem,” Murphy said. “This initiative will provide much needed relief to New Jerseyans who are struggling with student loans and other financial obligations during this crisis."

Murphy said last month that those with loans from the New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students program could seek similar payment relief programs.

The private borrowers who are part of this latest agreement are:

Aspire Resources, Inc., College Ave Student Loan Servicing LLC, Earnest Operations LLC, Edfinancial Services LLC, Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corp., Lendkey Technologies, Inc., Higher Education Loan Authority of the State of Missouri, Navient Corp., Nelnet, Inc., SoFi Lending Corp., Tuition Options LLC, Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority, and Vermont Student Assistance Corp.

Borrowers can check the type of student loans they have and who services them at nslds.ed.gov or 1-800-433-3243. The contact information also would be on monthly billing statements.

State residents with questions or problems can call the Department of Banking and Insurance Consumer Hotline at 1-800-446-7467 on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. or can go online and click on Consumer Assistance - Inquiries/Complaints at https://www.dobi.nj.gov.

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