Relief For Students

January 21, 2021

If you have a college student who has had his or her semester of in-class learning turned into a time of online learning, or maybe your adult child has an outstanding student loan, the CARES Act and President Biden’s executive order have several provisions that will help student loan borrowers:

  • For students with outstanding loans through Direct Loans and FFEL loans, President Biden has extended the suspension of payments until Sept. 30, 2021. Moreover, interest will not accrue during this suspension.
  • For those students who are seeking student loan forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, this suspension period will count toward the forgiveness.
  • For students in an income-driven repayment plan, the suspended payments are also considered qualifying payments that can be counted toward forgiveness.
  • Credit reporting services will reflect suspended payments as if they have been made.
  • Employers may apply education assistance benefits directly toward an employee’s student loans (Maximum of $5,250).
  • These provisions also apply to Federal Parent PLUS Loans.

These provisions do not apply to Federal Perkins Loans, loans in default, private student loans or private parent loans.

Loans under the Federal Family Education Loan program (FFELP) may be eligible. For these loans, contact the loan service provider.

Many students who had their year at college cut short and are now finishing the semester online at home are receiving refunds from their schools.

Many schools are issuing partial refunds for housing, dining and parking fees. If those fees were initially paid from a 529 plan, consider recontributing them to the plan.

While not a provision of the CARES Act, if the refunded amounts represent qualified expenses that were originally paid with funds that were distributed from a 529 Plan, the student or 529 plan account owner may be able to recontribute these funds.

While the 529 plan provider will stipulate the final details of how to accomplish this, these are the general guidelines and considerations:

  • It must be recontributed within 60 days of the refund date
  • Beneficiary or account owner may recontribute refund of qualifying expenses
  • Must be for the same beneficiary
  • Recontribution is treated as principal
  • No taxes or penalties will be assessed
  • Recontribution will not be counted against the aggregate contribution limit

Please note that if it is not recontributed within the specified time limit it will be considered a non-qualified distribution and taxes and penalties will be applied. In addition, each 529 plan has determined its own stipulations on how the funds should be recontributed. Please contact your 529 plan provider before recontributing the funds.

Partner With Your Advisor

If you have questions about your 529 plan and the changes related to the CARES Act legislation and President Biden’s extension of the suspended payment deadline, contact Mariner. We’re committed to helping you navigate your family’s financial future.


Biden Extends Break on Repaying Student Loans,”

What the CARES Act Means for Repayment of Federal Student Loans,”

Can I Recontribute a Refund to My 529 Plan?”

This article is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to Mariner Wealth Advisors’ investment advisory services and general economic market conditions. The views expressed are for commentary purposes only and do not take into account any individual personal, financial, or tax considerations. As such, the information contained herein is not intended to be personal legal, investment or tax advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any security or engage in a particular investment strategy. Nothing herein should be relied upon as such, and there is no guarantee that any claims made will come to pass. Any opinions and forecasts contained herein are based on information and sources of information deemed to be reliable, but Mariner Wealth Advisors does not warrant the accuracy of the information that this opinion and forecast is based upon. You should note that the materials are provided “as is” without any express or implied warranties. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Contact Us