How to Get a Student Loan Refund for Payments Made During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Mentor Staff | Edited By Mentor Staff

Updated On September 9, 2022

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If you made federal student loan payments during the Covid-19 pandemic, here’s how to get a student loan refund. Federal student loan payments have been paused since March 2020 when Congress announced historic student loan relief. However, if you paid any federal student loans during the student loan payment pause, you can now get a student loan refund. Given President Biden’s major announcement on student loan forgiveness, getting a student loan refund is now easier if you follow these steps.

In this guide, we will discuss:

Top Picks For Student Loan Refinancing

October 2022

Variable APR ?APR, or Annual Percentage Rate, is the price you pay to borrow money. Variable APR means that your interest rate can fluctuate over time, which can increase or decrease your monthly student loan payment. Typically, a variable-rate loan has a lower introductory rate than a fixed-loan rate loan. Variable APR includes a 0.25% discount when you enroll in autopay.
Fixed APR ?APR, or Annual Percentage Rate, is the price you pay to borrow money. Fixed APR means that your interest rate will always stay the same. Even if interest rates change, your interest rate or monthly payment will not. Fixed APR includes a 0.25% discount when you enroll in autopay.
APR
3.40% - 8.40%
3.99% - 8.24%
3.40% - 8.40%

View Details

on SoFi's website

Overview

Variable APR:
3.40% - 8.40%
Fixed APR:
3.99% - 8.24%
Minimum Credit Score:
650
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000 ($10,000 in CA)

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All states
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
2.49% - 7.99%
3.74% - 8.49%
2.49% - 8.49%

View Details

on Earnest's website

Overview

Variable APR:
2.49% - 7.99%
Fixed APR:
3.74% - 8.49%
Minimum Credit Score:
650
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5-20 years
Borrower Residency:
All States except NV
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
No
2.49% - 7.99%
3.74% - 8.49%
2.49% - 8.49%

View Details

on NaviRefi's website

Overview

Variable APR:
2.49% - 7.99%
Fixed APR:
3.74% - 8.49%
Minimum Credit Score:
650
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,001 ($10,001 in CA)

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5-20 years
Borrower Residency:
All States except NV
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
No
2.48% - 7.24%
4.29% - 7.29%
2.48% - 7.29%

View Details

on ELFI's website

Overview

Variable APR:
2.48% - 7.24%
Fixed APR:
4.29% - 7.29%
Minimum Credit Score:
680
Minimum Income:
$35,000
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$10,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All States
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
2.49% - 11.72%
2.59% - 8.74%
2.49% - 11.72%

View Details

on Splash's website

Overview

Variable APR:
2.49% - 11.72%
Fixed APR:
2.59% - 8.74%
Minimum Credit Score:
640
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5 – 25 years
Borrower Residency:
All states
Hardship Deferment:
Varies
Co-signer Option:
No
3.84% - 10.07%
4.49% - 10.11%
3.84% - 10.11%

View Details

on Citizens' website

Overview

Variable APR:
3.84% - 10.07%
Fixed APR:
4.49% - 10.11%
Minimum Credit Score:
Not disclosed
Minimum Income:
$24,000
Fees:
No prepayment or origination fees
Minimum Loan Amount:
$10,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All states
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
2.50% - 6.30%
3.99% - 6.40%
2.50% - 6.40%

View Details

on Laurel Road's website

Overview

Variable APR:
2.50% - 6.30%
Fixed APR:
3.99% - 6.40%
Minimum Credit Score:
660
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All States
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
4.13% - 7.39%
2.99% - 9.93%
2.99% - 9.93%

View Details

on LendKey's website

Overview

Variable APR:
4.13% - 7.39%
Fixed APR:
2.99% - 9.93%
Minimum Credit Score:
680
Minimum Income:
$24,000
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All states, except ME, ND, NV, RI, WV
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
-
3.94% - 9.08%
3.94% - 9.08%

View Details

on ISL's website

Overview

Variable APR:
-
Fixed APR:
3.94% - 9.08%
Minimum Credit Score:
670
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000 ($10,000 in CA)

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All states, except OR and ME
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes

How to get a student loan refund

You may be wondering how to get a student loan refund. To get a student loan refund for federal student loan payments that you made during the student loan payment pause, contact your student loan servicer. Your student loan servicer is the company that manages your student loan payments and acts as customer service for your student loans. Importantly, your student loan servicer may have changed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Login to Federal Student Aid (FSA) to determine who is your student loan servicer. You can also call Federal Student Aid at 1-800-433-3243.

Here is how to contact each federal student loan servicer:

Aidvantage: 1-800-722-1300

Default Resolution Group: 1-800-621-3115

ECSI: 1-866-313-3797

Edfinancial: 1-855-337-6884

FedLoan Servicing: 1-800-699-2908

Great Lakes: 1-800-236-4300

MOHELA: 1-888-866-4352

Nelnet: 1-888-486-4722

OSLA: 1-866-264-9762

When you contact your student loan servicer, you should have your account number, the date of your student loan payments made during the student loan payment pause, and the amounts that you want refunded. Expect long wait times when you call your customer service. Many student loan borrowers could be contacting their student loan servicer regarding student loan repayment, student loan forgiveness or a student loan refund.

Which student loans are eligible

Only certain federal student loans are eligible for a refund. You must have made a student loan payment during the student loan pause from March 13, 2020 through December 31, 2022. Importantly, the U.S. Department of Education must own any eligible federal student loans. The eligible federal student loans include:

  • Direct subsidized loans
  • Direct unsubsidized loans
  • Parent PLUS Loans
  • Grad PLUS Loans
  • Direct Consolidation Loans
  • Federal Perkins loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education
  • Federal Family Education Loans (FFELP) owned by the U.S. Department of Education
  • FFELP Loans in student loan default not owned by the U.S. Department of Education
  • Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL) in student loan default

Student loans that aren’t eligible

There are several types of student loans that won’t be eligible for a student loan refund. These loans include:

  • Private student loans
  • FFELP Loans not owned by the U.S. Department of Education (not in student loan default)
  • Federal Perkins Loans not owned by the U.S. Department of Education
  • HEAL loans (not in student loan default)

Should I request a refund?

It’s important to assess whether you should request a refund for your student loan payments. During the student loan pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic, your federal student loan interest rates was 0%. In addition, you weren’t required to make any mandatory federal student loan payments.

If you made an optional federal student loan payment , your full student loan payment directly reduced your principal student loan balance. Paying student loans during the pandemic was a financial benefit to most student loan borrowers who chose this financial strategy.

Reasons to request a refund

Even if you paid student loans during the pandemic, you may want to request a refund for several reasons, including:

Reasons not to request a refund

Why would you not request a refund for your student loan payments? If you already paid off student loans, a refund means your student loan balance would increase. For example, before the Covid-19 pandemic, let’s assume you had $100,000 of student loans. During the pandemic, you made $10,000 of student loan payments. Now, your student loan balance is $90,000.

If your financial situation hasn’t changed, you may be better off financially not asking for a refund. Why? You may prefer the lower student loan balance, which can save you money on interest in the long-term.

Student loan refund: FAQ

What if I paid off my student loans during the payment pause?

If you paid off your student loans during the payment pause, you can request a refund and be eligible for student loan forgiveness. Contact your student loan servicer to request a refund of any federal student loan payments made on eligible student loans between March 13, 2020 and December 31, 2022. After your refund is processed, your student loan balance will return to your student loan balance before the Covid-19 pandemic.

For example, let’s assume your student loan balance was $10,000 before the pandemic. During the student loan pause, you made $6,000 of eligible federal student loan payments. Since your federal student balance is $4,000, you could be eligible for $4,000 of student loan forgiveness. However, you could request a refund for $6,000. Therefore, your student loan balance will return to $10,000. Then, you can apply for $10,000 of student loan forgiveness under Biden’s plan.

When can I request a refund?

Contact your student loan servicer for more information. The U.S. Department of Education could release additional details. If you know you want a refund, it’s better to request one as soon as possible.

Who is my student loan servicer?

To find out your student loan servicer, login to Federal Student Aid using your FSA ID.

How much will my refund be?

The amount of you refund depends on the amount of student loan payments you made on eligible federal student loans during the student loan pause. You can request a refund or some or all of the student loan payments made during this period.

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