State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport) cheered the announcement by Governor Ned Lamont that student loan borrowers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis have can access free financial advice and assistance. The State has partnered with Summer, a social enterprise that offers to help borrowers compare and enroll in dozens of loan assistance and forgiveness programs.
“We are experiencing a public health crisis and an economic crisis. My constituents who are out of work are having trouble keeping food on the table, let alone paying back their student loan bills,” said Sen. Haskell. “While the state has already taken steps including halting late fees and offering a pause on payments, this is a forward-thinking plan that expands on those strategies and gives student loan borrowers additional assistance during a challenging time.”
As Senate Chair of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, Sen. Haskell is remaining focused on the challenges faced by students during, and after, their college experiences. As the cost of earning a degree has increased, Haskell has advocated for policies that make Connecticut more affordable for the next generation of workers.
The federal government has paused payments on all Federal Direct loans, though private and commercially-held loans were excluded from the CARES Act. The state of Connecticut in April halted late fees on student loan payments and offered three-month opt-in pauses on payments, an approach supplemented by the partnership with Summer.
Summer’s specific benefits in the partnership are in helping unemployed borrowers or ones facing significant salary reductions to determine eligibility for zero-cost or low monthly payments in an Income-Driven Repayment plan, which could value up to $300 per month or $3,600 per year. Summer will help state residents check eligibility across IDR plans and automatically complete applications if they quality.