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Your Earnest Loan and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you’re one of the thousands impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, and you’re nervous about making payments on your loans, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our Client Happiness team is ready to talk you through your options, and help reduce or postpone payments. Like most of the country, the majority of our staff are working from home. They are doing their best to answer your calls, emails, and chats as soon as possible. We know that your wait might be longer than usual, and we greatly appreciate your patience. Remember that you can always access your account 24/7 on our website.

Support Options

SUPPORT FOR PRIVATE LOAN CLIENTS

If you’re having trouble making payments due to the COVID-19 crisis, there is help. Be sure to contact us here so we can help you understand options that can fit your situation.

Here are some of the options available:

We understand that COVID-19 continues to affect many people’s lives. Earnest is offering a short-term coronavirus forbearance to qualified clients who request it for up to 12 months. This program brings your eligible loans current and postpones payments for at least one full month.

The short-term forbearance will not count against your hardship forbearance time. During this time, you will not be responsible for making payments but interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the short-term forbearance, unpaid interest will not be capitalized (added to your outstanding principal balance).

This program is scheduled to end on January 31, 2021.

Note: Starting October 1, 2021, the short-term coronavirus forbearance program will be available only for a maximum number of 12 cumulative months. After that date, if you have reached or exceeded the cumulative maximum number of months, there are other programs that may assist you.

Other programs that may assist you:

  • Short Term Interest Only Program – This program will allow you to make a lower (interest only) payment on your loan for up to 90 days at a time. Your monthly payment will be lowered to an interest-only amount for up to 3 months consecutively. This will prevent the post-program monthly payment from significantly rising by extending the terms of their loan by the same number of months (3). This program may be used for up to 18 cumulative months, in 3 month increments.
    Making a payment, even a reduced one, is always the best approach long-term as interest continues to accrue daily. Forbearance will ease the burden of required payments, but making some payments still saves money in the long run.
  • Rate Reduction Program –Earnest offers a temporary Rate Reduction Program that reduces the interest rate and lowers the Monthly Payment Amount.
  • Other programs- may also be available, learn more here. Please note that these options may require a review of your and any cosigner’s financial situation and ability to pay.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will you offer these coronavirus forbearance programs?

This program is scheduled to end on January 31, 2021. Note: Starting October 1, 2021, the short-term coronavirus forbearance program will be available only for a maximum number of 12 cumulative months. After that date, if you have reached the cumulative maximum number of months, there are other programs that may assist you.

Additional short-term and long-term relief is available to assist customers who experience difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the economy.

What if I’m still experiencing difficulty at the end of my forbearance?

We strongly encourage you to explore your long-term options as soon as possible.  There are several existing programs for clients who are experiencing difficulty but can pay a reduced payment amount.

You may be eligible for a standard hardship forbearance if your difficulty is unrelated to coronavirus or its impact on the economy, but note that all normal terms and conditions (including capitalization of interest) would apply.  Please contact us here if you are nearing the end of your coronavirus forbearance and anticipate difficulty making payments.

Why isn’t a private education loan eligible for the temporary interest waiver announced by the White House on March 13, 2020?

The interest waiver announced by the White House is for federally held student loans only. Private education loans are not federally owned or guaranteed. Many of our clients  have federally owned loans in addition to private student loans,  so, other options may be available for those loans.

With this forbearance will my loans be reported negatively to the credit bureaus?

No. Earnest will report loans enrolled in the coronavirus disaster forbearance program as “current” with a payment history of “deferred” and a special comment of “affected by natural or declared disaster.” Any delinquency on your loan has been addressed with this forbearance; however, it will not remove any prior delinquency information reported to the consumer reporting agencies. If you have questions about the impact of this forbearance on your FICO score, please visit www.myfico.com.

What are the drawbacks of using forbearance?

Even though interest will not be capitalized at the end of the short-term coronavirus forbearance, there are other considerations you should be aware of. Your Monthly Payment Amount and total cost of your loan may increase due to the additional interest accrued during the forbearance. Your estimated payoff date will be extended by forbearance because the period of forbearance is not considered part of your repayment period.
Auto Pay and any interest rate reduction associated with Auto Pay are suspended during a forbearance.


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