FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — A new, temporary program by the Department of Education called Fresh Start can greatly impact your life if you have defaulted on federal student loans.

The largest benefit is that you may now once again access federal student aid and go back to school. The following are some other benefits:

  • Tax offsets and wage garnishments are no more.
  • Social security payments, including disability benefits, will not be garnished.
  • No collection calls.
  • Eligibility for government loans, such as mortgages and student loans, is reestablished.
  • Fresh Start does not count as your one chance to rehabilitate your loans.
  • Credit reporting will show as “current/paying as agreed,” instead of “collections.”
  • Income-driven payment plans can be as low as $0 per month, with the Department of Education claiming 60 percent of applicants will be paying less than $50 per month, while 50 percent of borrowers will be paying $0.
  • Student loan forgiveness programs are now available with the Fresh Start program.
  • Forbearance and deferments are available with the Fresh Start program.

More information on Fresh Start is available on the Department of Education website.

Call the Fort Leonard Wood Army Community Service at 573.596.3154 to speak with a financial readiness specialist here.