THE CARES Act & Credit Reporting

Federal student loans held by the Department of Education were placed into administrative forbearance beginning in March of 2020, resulting 

in the suspension of payment requirements through October. This action provided much-needed relief to millions of borrowers. While a welcome benefit for student loan borrowers, it has been a challenge for the servicers of federal loan programs to update their systems and processes. 


Borrowers and advisors actions

As a general rule, and now for those taking advantage of this payment relief, credit reports should be carefully monitored.

As reported by WSB TV Atlanta, some student loan borrowers have seen declines in their credit scores due to the incorrect reporting of their loans as delinquent.  

The incorrect reporting has been linked to the quick changes mandated by the CARES Act and the inability of loan servicers to update their systems and processes.  

During this time, borrowers with federal student loans who aren't making payments should check their credit reports to ensure that their loans are not reported as delinquent.

To order a credit report, visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228. Or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. Every person can pull the report one time per year.  

If a borrower has already accessed their credit report from annualcredirport.com, everyone in the U.S. can get 6 free credit reports per year through 2026 by visiting the Equifax website or by calling 1-866-349-5191. That's in addition to the one free Equifax report (plus your Experian and TransUnion reports) you can get at AnnualCreditReport.com.

If your credit report shows a delinquency on your federal student loans that have been granted a payment suspension via the CARES act, borrows need to dispute those delinquencies with Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.  

 

Jantz Hoffman, MBA

Written by Jantz Hoffman, MBA

Mr. Hoffman is a Registered Investment Advisor and has been assisting clients with student debt since 2010. He has appeared on PBS Nightly Business Report and been cited in the NY Times as well as other publications as an expert in student loan repayment. Mr. Hoffman received a bachelor’s degree from Humboldt State University and a master’s degree in business from Colorado State University.

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