April 2020
The Impact of COVID-19 – Five Things FAME Wants You To Know
As we continue to navigate the ever-changing COVID-19 crisis, we want you to know that the health and well-being of students, families and our partners is our top priority at the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME). We are here to help whether you are: a student loan borrower in repayment, a current college student, future college student, or someone who works with and/or cares about students and borrowers. We have created a COVID-19 resource page to help you stay on top of important information related to student loans and finances. Here are a few things we want you to know:
1. Federal Student Loans

As a result of recent action by the federal government:

  • Interest is now frozen on all federally held student loans (for both currently enrolled students and borrowers in repayment) through September 30, 2020.
  • Payments are suspended on all federally held loans through September 30, 2020. Borrowers in income-based repayment plans or Public Service Loan Forgiveness will still have these months count toward their total qualifying payments even if they are not making payments.
  • Involuntary collections such as wage garnishment, tax refund reductions, and reductions of federal benefits like Social Security would also be suspended until September 30, 2020.

To learn more about which federal student loans are federally held, visit FAMEmaine.com .

For additional details on the impact of COVID-19 on federal student loans, visit Coronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents .
2. Private Student Loans and Other Education Loans

Recent action taken by the federal government for federal student loans does not apply to private student loans or other education loans. However, borrowers with private student loans who are having trouble making payments as a result of COVID-19 should contact their loan servicer.
 
Borrowers who have loans through any FAME administered programs, who are having difficulty making payments as a result of COVID-19, should contact FAME’s Education Team at 1-800-228-3734, Option 1. FAME administered loans include: the Maine Loan, Maine Medical Loan, Maine Medical Association Loan, Educators for Maine, Maine Dental Education Loan, Maine Veterinary Medicine Loan, and the Health Professions Loan Program.
3. Financial Resources

Our trusted partners at iGrad® recently launched a new guide, Coronavirus and Your Financial Health , which features a collection of resources related to maintaining financial health during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, iGrad offers free tools and information, including Your Money Personality Tool and a variety of financial wellness courses . We encourage you to create your free iGrad account to take full advantage of all the resources available through iGrad.  
Despite these challenging times, it is important to spend time focused on the future. For current and future college students, here are two items to help you prepare for education after high school.
4. File Your FAFSA

We understand that filing your FAFSA might be the last thing on your to-do list. But, it’s important to remember that our current situation won’t last forever and we want you to have as many financial options as possible for pursuing education after high school. Filing your FAFSA helps you do that. You can file your FAFSA at FAFSA.gov or you can even file your FAFSA on your cell phone by downloading the MyStudentAid app from the Apple App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android). Be sure to file your FAFSA by May 1 to be automatically considered for the Maine State Grant.
5 . Planning Tools for Education After High School

If your current situation allows you to spend some time planning for your future, here are some resources and areas to explore:

  • Research careersCareerOneStop.org is a great site where you can explore careers, learn about the education requirements for different careers, and research salaries.
  • Explore higher education options – Building a list of potential schools that look to be a good fit is a great next step. Check out the College Board’s Big Future or the U.S. Department’s College Navigator.
  • Learn about financial aid – Investigate the financial aid process at each of the schools you are interested in by visiting the financial aid section of each school’s website.
  • Search for scholarships – Apply for any scholarships that are available through your high school or college. Also visit FAME’s scholarship search to find Maine-based scholarships and for a list of reputable scholarship organizations.
While we’re all in this together, everyone’s individual circumstances are different. Please know that if you need us, FAME is here for you to help in whatever way we can. You can reach us at 1-800-228-3734, Option 1 or Education@famemaine.com .
Want more information?
Join us for this month's FREE Wednesday Webinar:

What FAME’s Education Team Wants You To Know In Light of COVID-19

Wednesday, April 15, 2020
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

 As we continue to navigate the ever-changing COVID-19 crisis, the well-being of students, families, and our partners is our priority at FAME. In an effort to support you in whatever way we can, April’s Wednesday Webinar will first focus on recent legislative actions and the impact on students and borrowers. We will then discuss steps that can be taken now to help students keep their options open and plan for the future. Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to support your students today, but also in the future when the situation returns to some sense of normal. We look forward to having you join us!
For additional helpful information and resources, find  previous issues of 5 on the 5th on our website.

FAME's College Access and Financial Education Team:

Mary Dyer , Financial Education Officer
Maria MacDougal , College Access Counselor
Floreka Malual , College Planning Advisor
Nikki Vachon , College Access Counselor
Jessica Whittier , College Access Counselor 
Mila Tappan , College Access and Outreach Manager
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