The federal student loan pause that started back in March 2020 is coming to an end. The Supreme Court also has ruled against the Biden administration’s student loan relief package that would have canceled up to $20,000 in federal student loans for nearly 43 million people. The time for borrowers to start paying back their student loans is right around the corner. While payments do not restart until October, interest will start accruing again in September. The exact date can vary, but NOW is the time to get prepared.

Here are four steps to follow so that you will be ready in advance of restarting your student loans payments.

1. Login to and locate your student loan servicer. Reach out to your servicer to make sure your contact information is up to date. If you had autopayment set up previously, make sure this information is still correct, as well. You may have to opt back into this payment method.

2. Ask your servicer how much you can expect your payments to be and what payment options they may offer. If you do this now, you will have a much better chance of not waiting in the telephone customer service line with everyone else come September.

3. If you are struggling financially, ask your provider for help with setting up an Income-Driven Repayment plan. There are several options that can drastically reduce your monthly payment. Use the Loan Simulator tool provided on the website to see what options you have. You can use the Loan Simulator tool to research the best repayment strategy as well. Also, if you are in a temporary financial bind and can’t afford to start repaying your student loans in the fall, you may be eligible for a deferment or forbearance. Keep in mind that interest will continue to accrue during a forbearance. The interest for a deferment typically does not accrue.

4. It has been more than three years since you had to make student loan payments. Adjust your monthly budget accordingly to afford the payments. Here are a few tips:

  • Start “practicing” making payments into your own savings account to see how the new outflow affects your budget.
  • Look carefully at your previous year’s expenses to see what items can be cut out.
  • If at all possible, avoid reducing your retirement account savings — especially the amount that is matched by your employer.

Time is key! If you do choose an Income-Driven Repayment plan, you will want to do this now so it will be set up when the repayment pause ends this fall.

If you need help figuring out how student loan payments affect your financial plan, reach out to Tilly. We are here to help!