Ah, it looks like it’s time for another government shutdown…
As of Friday morning, reports suggested a partial government shutdown is likely, with President Trump saying the closure, if it happens, “will last for a very long time.”
So if the government misses its deadline to pass a funding package by midnight tonight and a shutdown occurs, do you still need to keep paying your student loans? And if you’re enrolled in school, will this this affect your financial aid?
While the two-day federal government shutdown this past January raised some concerns about student financial aid impacts, this month’s crisis would be a different beast.
That’s because, this time around, we’re only facing a “partial shutdown,” with an emphasis on the “partial.” Fortunately, lawmakers have already approved fiscal 2019 funds for many major government functions, including the Department of Education. So although some agencies — such as the departments of State, Justice and Transportation — would see some of their functions halted, roughly three-quarters of the government could continue as usual.
It’s also worth noting that even if the Education Department did shut its doors, you would still have to keep repaying any student loans you have, since the servicers for those aren’t part of the federal government and would continue operations regardless.
Meanwhile, payments to students for things like direct student loans and Pell grants can sometimes continue during shutdowns, as was the case outlined in the Department of Education’s contingency plan from the previous government closure.
But if you’re curious about how a total shutdown affects student financial aid and other issues, check out this helpful guide from the January shutdown.
And in a way, by continuing to pay your student loans on time, you’re showing yourself to be more fiscally responsible than the government.
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