The federal pause on student loan repayment came to an end last October. The event jolted many of the more than 45 million Americans who carry student loan debt.
Now that payments have resumed, it is especially important to stay on top of your student loans if you hope to get ahead financially.
Here are five important dates borrowers should be aware of in 2024.
Eliminate your late tax debt
Each year, the IRS forgives millions in unpaid taxes. If you have more than $10,000 in tax debt, or have 3+ years of unfiled taxes, you could get forgiveness too. You might be eligible to lower the amount you owe, or eliminate your tax debt completely.
Easy Tax Relief could help you lower or get out of your tax debt for good. They’re well respected in the industry and have been recognized for their ethical standards when dealing with tax debt. While most tax companies just put you on a payment plan and file your taxes for you, Easy Tax Relief talks to the IRS directly. They can help you pay off your tax debt faster while potentially reducing what you owe.
Important: Not everyone will qualify. To take advantage of this special program you must owe more than $10,000 in past-due taxes.
Under a provision that was part of the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022, employers now can contribute to an employee’s retirement fund by matching qualifying student loan payments.
To put it simply, you make student loan payments, and your employer puts a matching amount of money — up to $5,250 per year — into a retirement fund for you. The new rules went into effect beginning this year.
The idea is to help employees who otherwise would be put off from saving for retirement because they are so saddled with student debt. The new regulations state the employer can make matching contributions to a 401(k), 403(b), SIMPLE IRA, or 457(b) plan.
Reach out to your HR department to see if your employer offers the benefit.
The Biden administration has already approved loan forgiveness for thousands of borrowers since an Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Account Adjustment period began.
Borrowers who have been paying their loans on an IDR plan for 20 to 25 years and those who qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) can benefit.
Borrowers who used the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program should consider consolidating their loans using a Direct Consolidation Loan application. Doing so could mean their eligible payments qualify for either IDR or PSLF forgiveness.
The deadline to submit a loan consolidation application is April 30, 2024.
Sometime in May
Rumor has it that some new legislation to provide student loan relief to more Americans could come as soon as May 2024. Others think this event will occur later in the year.
Shortly after President Biden’s proposed student loan forgiveness plan was shot down last summer, the administration announced it would continue to take steps to help borrowers.
Forbes estimates that the administration will release a final draft of a new loan-forgiveness plan sometime in May, with regulations possibly going into effect later in the year. However, the scope of the forgiveness might be narrower than originally envisioned last year.
If you’re over 50, take advantage of massive discounts and financial resources
Over 50? Join AARP today — because if you’re not a member you could be missing out on huge perks. When you start your membership today, you can get discounts on things like travel, meal deliveries, eyeglasses, prescriptions that aren’t covered by insurance and more.
How to become a member today:
- Go here, select your free gift, and click “Join Today”
- Create your account (important!) by answering a few simple questions
- Start enjoying your discounts and perks!
Important: Start your membership by creating an account here and filling in all of the information (Do not skip this step!) Doing so will allow you to take up 25% off your AARP membership, making it just $12 per year with auto-renewal.
Additional benefits of the Biden administration’s Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan are set to go into effect in July. Although the plan was announced in the summer of 2023, the benefits have rolled out gradually.
In summer 2024, undergraduate loan payments will be slashed by half — from 10% to 5% of income above 225% of the poverty line. In addition, borrowers who took out $12,000 or less in loans might qualify for forgiveness in as little as 10 years.
To help borrowers avoid serious financial consequences, the government created an “on-ramp” period after the pause on student loan payments ended in 2023.
Through Sept. 30, 2024, the government will not report borrowers as delinquent due to missed, late, or partial payments. However, interest is still accruing during this period, and the grace period itself will end in September.
If you have missed payments since the pause on payments ended, consider contacting your loan servicer to figure out a repayment plan that better suits your financial situation.
Student loan repayment can seem daunting, especially for those struggling to pay other bills or get out of debt in other areas of their lives.
If you are struggling to pay student loans, your student loan servicer should be able to walk you through better repayment options and suggest any forgiveness for which you might be eligible.