WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Federal student loan payments were put on pause multiple times due to the pandemic, but now residents should get ready to resume payments. According to the White House, payments are expected to resume on Feb. 1, 2022.

According to financial experts, there are a few things that people could do to get ready for payments that are resuming in February of 2022.

First, you’ll want to make sure that the new payment is going to fit well within your budget. It is important to calculate everything so you don’t have any financial challenges making the payment.

Second, make sure all your information is updated with the servicer. You want to be sure you are receiving all the right information, so you want to double-check that your information is up to date.

Millions of Americans are set to repay their loans beginning Feb. 1, 2022. Although the payment pause is a great time to begin saving for student loan repayment, some people may have lost their source of income during the pandemic. Residents now have the question: what do I do if I can’t afford to pay?

“There’s a few options if you can’t make the payment. You have the option of providing documentation for either forbearance or deferment, where you can continue to suspend payments. You could also submit information for Income Based Repayment, or you can get an adjustment in the payment schedule,” said Leslie H. Tayne, a financial attorney.

However, experts say if you can make payments now experts say it will allow you to pay less interest. 

“At this point in time, you could have been making payments if you could afford to. What that would have done for you is reduce the principal balance of what you owed, then when payments resumed and interest kicks back in, the interest will actually be on a lower balance,” said Tayne.

 It is also important to note, with repayment resuming soon, it’s not uncommon to see a high rate of scammers either spamming residents’ emails or phones. 

Experts say not to give any personal information over the phone, even if they’re verifying the information. Call the loan servicer directly.