Joan Hartley

State Senator

Joan Hartley

Chief Deputy President Pro Tempore

An Independent Voice

May 12, 2020

Senator Hartley Encourages Student Loan Borrowers Impacted By COVID Pandemic to Utilize Assistance and Forgiveness Resources

State Senator Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury) joined with Governor Ned Lamont to encourage any student loan borrower who has been financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis to utilize additional resources newly available to them for free. Governor Lamont announced recently that borrowers can receive free assistance from the social enterprise Summer, which offers resources including tools and experts who can help with finding, comparing and enrolling in dozens of loan assistance and forgiveness programs.

“With a quarter of the state’s workforce seeing employment impacted negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic, student loan borrowers are undoubtedly concerned about paying student loans and debt relief,” said Sen. Hartley. “By utilizing free resources through Summer, they may be able to access loan forgiveness and assistance programs that will help lessen the financial strain too many are currently experiencing.”

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 now 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.