The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act is designed to help consumers, including student loan borrowers in these strange times of the COVID 19 virus. Under this law, the government is forbearing the collection of all student loans from March 13, 2020 through September 30, 2020. Even better news is that the loans will not accrue interest during this time period. The Department of Ed has also instructed its collection agencies to not make calls during this time. This is what is called an “Accommodation” under the act.
If you get an Accommodation, then your lender is required to continue the credit reporting on its tradeline in the previous month. For example, if you were 30 days late in February of 2020, you will continue to be reported 30 days late throughout the deferment period, unless, of course, you catch up the late payment. Moreover, if you were current on your student loan in February of 2020, then during this deferral period, you must be reported as current even though you are not making any student loan payments.
Some Student Loan Servicers are not playing by the rules and it is illegally dropping your credit score.
WSB-TV2 investigative reporter Justin Gray reported on two student borrowers whose credit scores have dropped due to student loan servicers reporting them as late due to their loans being deferred by the CARES Act. These borrowers loans were serviced by Great Lakes, one of the largest servicers of student loan debts in the country.
Mr. Gray interviewed someone from the Department of Education who had blamed computer programming as the culprit. In their defense, the student loan servicers had to update their computers in a very short time to not report people as late who did not make their monthly payments due to the CARES Act. However, in the mean time, many borrowers’ credit scores are dropping like stones in a pond.
What you can do to safeguard your credit score
The three major credit bureaus are now allowing you to get your actual credit reports, for free, on a weekly basis. Prior to the COVID-19 emergency, you were allowed one free pull of your credit report, once a year. You can get your credit reports, for free, by going to www.annualcreditreport.com. Pull them and make sure that your student loan servicers is playing by the rules. If not, call us at Student Loan Medix for a free, no obligation, consultation at (480) 676-2889. We are a consumer rights law firm dedicated to helping student loan borrowers. You can email me, Attorney Gary Nitzkin at [email protected] for more information.