Last month, nearly 30 million student loan borrowers had payments due for the first time since the pandemic repayment pause took effect in spring 2020.
Even a well-run restart would hit bumps in the road as borrowers log back into their accounts, receive updated bills, and learn about a new income-driven repayment plan.
But some of the challenges we’re seeing – like hour-long call wait times – could have been avoided with extra funding from Congress. With tens of millions of borrowers entering repayment all at once, call centers for student loan contractors are overworked and understaffed. Students are having a hard time getting the help they need to repay their loans accurately. Unfortunately, lawmakers ignored warnings for the past year about the consequences of limited loan servicing resources.
As Congress works to keep funding the government, it should prioritize customer service for federal student loan borrowers and increase funding for student loan repayment outreach and call centers.