CFA COVID-19 Message: Student Loans, Spring Assembly

Dear Colleagues,

I am reaching out to you again this week to keep you posted about events in the CSU and work we are doing in CFA.

As our lives continue to change, our team is updating information and resources on our COVID-19 page to better serve your needs and answer your questions.

Several members have contacted us about the information we shared regarding the student loan provisions in the CARES Act, the $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package, and the conflicting information coming from news agencies (even found on the websites of many federally-held student loan servicers).  The provisions of this bill were changing very quickly and the Department of Education is still distributing the information to loan servicers.

CFA is not a financial advisor and we have no control over how the bill is administered, but based on our reading of the bill and our research, these are the provisions that may affect you as a student loan borrower:

  • Payments to your federally held student loan will be suspended for six months (until September 30, 2020).
  • No interest will accrue on federal student loans during this six-month period.
  • There will be no garnishment of wages, Social Security, or tax refunds for people in default of qualifying federal student loans during this six-month period.
  • This time in suspension of payment does count towards the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program regardless of whether or not you make payments during this period.
  • These provisions only count toward the federally held student loans, and not to private student loans.  To find out what kinds of loans you have, go to
  • All borrowers eligible for these provisions should be notified by April 10 by their loan service provider.  If you have not received notice by April 10, you should contact your provider.  
  • If you have a qualifying loan and had a payment deducted on or after March 13, you can request that that payment be refunded through your loan service provider.

Please note that no one should be paying a third-party to help you navigate this program.  You should be able to deal directly with your loan provider, and most of the provisions are automatic.

The text of the bill can be found here. See section 3513 (a), (b), and (c) for the full details.

We have also found that reliable sources for information are:

Also, this weekend, CFA leaders from all 23 CSU campuses had intended to meet for an in-person Assembly. These meetings are important: we hold them twice a year to attend to union business, including planning for campaigns, leadership development, and elections of officers and leaders of committees and caucuses. Board of Directors, Council for Racial and Social Justice, Council of Presidents (the group of chapter presidents), Lecturers Council, and other caucuses and committees will meet via Zoom throughout the weekend. As you can imagine, each of these groups will discuss the impact of COVID-19 and plan for “what’s next” or “what happens now.” Faculty must have a say in how we return to campuses in Fall 2020.

In planning for the recovery, we need you to be involved, too. We want to encourage you to connect with your local chapter to join our efforts in the rebuilding that we all must engage in. If you are not a member of CFA, please join us. It’s going to take all of us to get it right.

Please be safe and well in these times and continue to look out for one another. We’re in this battle together.


Charles Toombs, Ph.D.
President, California Faculty Association
Department of Africana Studies
San Diego State University