Hurricane Matthew is the most powerful storm to hit the US in over a decade and is anticipated to continue moving up the east coast through Sunday, October 9. Those impacted by the storm may have access to a range of federal aid based on the effects they experience, as FEMA has declared a state of emergency in affected areas.

Student loan borrowers are offered relief in the wake of disasters. From the U.S Department of Education, Federal Student Aid Disaster Assistance page:

I have a federal student loan and I was not able to complete my school year due to a natural disaster. What are my options?

If you are a federal student loan borrower who was not able to complete your school year as a result of the disaster, you will be provided with an extended “in-school” status until you officially withdraw or re-enroll in the next regular enrollment period, whichever is earlier. This action will prevent you from entering repayment status on your loans. Contact your school to request this action.

I was displaced from my home in a recent natural disaster. As a result, I am having trouble making payments on my federal student loan. What are my options?

If you are a borrower in repayment who was adversely affected by a disaster, you qualify for administrative forbearance of loan repayment for a period of up to three months. During forbearance, payments are temporarily postponed or reduced. However, interest is still charged during the forbearance period. You should contact your lender or loan servicer to request this forbearance.

All of our users who would like assistance in contacting their servicers to request a forbearance should feel free to contact an IonTuition counselor via the IonManage module. We will do what we can to expedite the process.