By: Justin Boggs, TheDenverChannel.com, April 9, 2020

The Department of Education recently announced that most federal student loans are automatically in forbearance, meaning all automatic payments have been suspended and consumers will not be charged interest or late fees.

The guidance is in response to the economic fallout amid the spread of COVID-19.

The guidance does not apply to private student loans.

The forbearance will last from March 13, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2020. If you made a payment after March 13, you are eligible for a refund, the Department of Education announced.

President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the six month pause could be extended past October, depending on the state of the economy.

Many student loan customers have not received a notification, so you’ll want to be sure to check the status of your loan.

The guidance does not apply to some Federal Family Education Loan or Perkins Loans programs.

For student loan customers who want to continue making payments, 100% of payments made through the end of September on most federal student loans will be directly to the principal. But these payments are not being conducted automatically, which means you will need to either opt back into automatic payments, or make payments manually.

The Department of Education has created a frequently asked questions page on its website for student loan customers, which is available on its website .

Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook .