How to get a refund for student loan payments you made during the pandemic

The Ministry of Education launched the beta version from its student loan cancellation websiteallowing many of the 45 million Americans with outstanding student loans to start applying up to $20,000 in debt forgiveness

While payments and interest have been suspended since March 2020, some borrowers have continued to pay to reduce their principal.

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If you were one of them, you are not unlucky: you can request the reimbursement of all payments made on student loans since the beginning of the forbearance, According to the Federal Office for Student Aid.

Your pre-pandemic amount would then be eligible for the new cancellation plan.

Here’s what you need to know about loan repayments made during the pandemic, including who’s eligible and how to claim your repayment.

To learn more about student debt, find out if you are eligible for a waiver of public student loan forgivenessthe pros and cons) refinance your student loan and how avoid student loan forgiveness scams.

How do I request a refund of student loan payments?

To request a refund of any payments made since March 13, 2020, the Department of Education recommends contacting your specific loan officer to request a refund. (Over 40% of all student loans in the United States are handled by Nelnet.)

Read more: Find out who your student loan officer is

If you contact us, have details of your loan and payments on hand, including the amount you paid and the dates of your payments. And be prepared for a long call with significant wait times.

The Ministry of Education Website of the Federal Office for Student Aid also contains information on loan services and the forgiveness plan, although the site has also experienced delays due to high traffic volume.

What types of loans are eligible for repayment?

If you have made payments on federal loans to the Department of Education, you can request a refund of all or part made since the loan forbearance came into effect on March 13, 2020.

Payments on other types of loans — not in default Perkins and Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL) do not belong to the Ministry of Education, Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) not held by the Ministry of Education and private student loans are non-repayable.

If I get a refund, will my pre-pandemic debt amount be eligible for debt forgiveness?

Although even loan service providers have questions about the details of the plans, most analysts believe your account should be eligible for the discount plan, as long as you meet all other requirements.

“Those who have made voluntary payments on their federal student loans since March 2020 can actually get those payments back,” said Daniel Zibel, co-founder of the advocacy group Student Defense. told Houston Public Radio. “You will have this amount cancelled.”

The Department of Education said even borrowers who have paid off all of their federal student loans since March 13, 2020 are still eligible for debt forgiveness, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Several borrowers who made payments during the pandemic said on Twitter that their loan managers told them that if they received a refund, their loans would be reopened and the refund applied to the revised balance.

CNET has not yet verified this information. We recommend speaking directly with your loan manager.

Read more: How to apply for student loan forgiveness

Should I request a refund before or after requesting debt forgiveness?

Ask for a refund before applying for student loan debt forgiveness, according to Katherine Welbeck of the Student Borrower Protection Center.

“If you make a request first, you can process the refund to get your money back, and then that balance in your account is canceled,” Welbeck said. says PBS News Hour.

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