WASHINGTON (AP) -- People affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will be able to postpone or reduce payments on federal college loans under an agreement between banks and the Education Department.
"It will take some time for people to return to their jobs and resume their lives," Education Secretary Rod Paige said Wednesday. "It is my sincere hope that the department's efforts will help ease the strain on those who have suffered so much and help them get back to business."
The department has told banks to postpone or reduce payments until Jan. 31. Borrowers who need an extension may request it in writing.
Loan default collections for borrowers in the five boroughs of New York City will also be put on hold automatically until January, Paige said. Borrowers elsewhere may have default proceedings put on hold, but must request it from their bank.
The loan relief covers borrowers in three programs: Federal Family Education Loans, Federal Perkins Loan Programs and the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan.
For more information, call (800) 433-3243.
On the Net:
Education Department: http://www.ed.gov