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CARES Act update extends freeze on student loan payments and interest until January 2022

By AOA Staff


Earlier this month, the Department of Education announced the freeze on federal student loan payments will extend through January 2022. The department said this would be the “final extension” of the moratorium, which began in March 2020 as part of the CARES Act.

As the end of the extension approaches, the AOA remains committed to providing guidance and assistance for members who are navigating the student loan marketplace. Read on for helpful tips from AOA Value partners specializing in medical student loan repayment and forgiveness.

Doctors Without Quarters (DWOQ)

DWOQ logoDWOQ provides hands-on consulting services for medical students and physicians seeking the use of federal programs, such as income-driven loan repayment or Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

According to DWOQ experts, the CARES Act extension will count toward both PSLF and income-driven repayment forgiveness, so voluntary payments are not needed during this time. Also, unless a physician has experienced a loss or reduction of income, there’s no need to recertify an income-driven repayment plan until next year. DWOQ is also monitoring the impact of FedLoans exiting the federal servicing business. More information is available on the DWOQ blog.  

AOA members receive a 25% discount on an initial consultation with a DWOQ specialist, as well as a free loan refinancing suitability analysis.

PSLF Jobs Board

Members have exclusive access to the AOA PSLF jobs board, which is dedicated to student loan borrowers and qualified employers looking to recruit and retain talent through student loan forgiveness.

AOA Members can set up a job seeker profile and search only PSLF-qualified jobs.


SoFi logoAccording to SoFi financial advisors, physicians need to be aware that today’s low-interest rates are expected to rise in the next few months. Those with private student loans who have not been eligible for the freeze on payments should investigate whether they can save by refinancing with today’s low rates. In addition, the January timeframe for expiration of CARES Act benefits may be a good time for those who have federal student loans to refinance.

SoFi provides AOA members, including residents, a 0.25% rate discount when refinancing student loans. For those with federal student loans, SoFi offers “SoFi Snooze,” which allows AOA members to lock in a low rate today without giving up benefits of the payment moratorium, including no interest until the student loan is disbursed on Dec. 20 and no payment until February 2022. Before the loan is disbursed, AOA members may opt to modify the loan amount (in the event there is any student loan forgiveness) or cancel to stay federal. SoFi offers a dedicated customer support hotline specifically for healthcare workers. AOA members are eligible to schedule a 30-minute session to discuss their application with SoFi.

Learn more

If you have any question about these or any other AOA Member Value partnerships, please email the AOA team at


NOTICE: Recent legislative changes have suspended all federal student loan payments and waived interest charges on federally held loans until 01/31/22. Please carefully consider these changes before refinancing federally held loans with SoFi, as in doing so you will no longer qualify for these changes or other future benefits applicable to federally held loans. AOA and DWOQ receive compensation from SoFi on a per-funded loan basis. Student Loan Refinancing: Terms and conditions apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS PROSPECTIVELY BASED ON MARKET CONDITIONS AND BORROWER ELIGIBILITY. Your existing student loan(s) must total a minimum of $5,000 to be eligible for refinancing. Minimum loan amount may be higher in specific states due to legal requirements. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or other eligible status, have graduated with an associate degree or higher from an eligible Title-IVaccredited college or graduate program, and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements; see SoFi refinance loans are private student loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers, or may become available, such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Loans originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi). Licensed by the DFPI under the California Financing Law, license #6054612. NMLS #1121636 ( See for state-specific license details. 10.25% rate discount for refinancing your student loan: Terms and conditions apply. Offer good for new student loan refinancing customers only and subject to lender approval. To receive the offer, you must: (1) register and/or apply through this landing page; (2) complete a loan application with SoFi within 90 days of your application submit date; (3) and meet SoFi’s underwriting criteria. Once conditions are met and the loan has been disbursed, the interest rate shown in the Final Disclosure Statement will include an additional 0.25% rate discount because of your involvement with a SoFi partner company at the time of loan origination. Offer good for new customers only. Cannot be combined with other rate discounts, with the exception of the 0.25% AutoPay rate discount. SoFi reserves the right to change or terminate the Rate Discount Program to unenrolled participants at any time with or without notice. SoFi at Work is offered by Social Finance Inc. SoFi loans are offered by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate, licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license #6054612; NMLS #1121636 ( The Student Debt Navigator tool and 529 Savings and Selection tool are provided by SoFi Wealth, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see 2750 E. Cottonwood Parkway #300 Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121. ©2021 Social Finance, Inc. All rights reserved. Information as of August 2021 and is subject to change.