BISMARCK, N.D. — Bank of North Dakota (BND) shared its student loan relief plans to assist borrowers impacted by COVID-19 with the Industrial Commission today. Effective immediately, borrowers may request to defer payments for six months.
The interest rate for variable rate borrowers decreases April 1, 2020, so BND will reduce payments to reflect the new interest rate. In addition, all borrowers with a fixed interest rate will receive a decrease in their interest rates by at least 1 percent when the Bank is able to work through technical issues.
“We understand this is an extremely challenging time for our borrowers and want to assist them,” states Eric Hardmeyer, BND president/CEO. “BND is committed to providing assistance that has a meaningful impact on the daily lives of our borrowers.”
“The federal student loan program is automatically providing for the deferment of payment for all borrowers.” Hardmeyer continues, “Instead of assuming our borrowers want this change, we are requesting they contact us. We realize some may want to take advantage of the reduced interest rates and continue repaying their student loans on schedule.”
“BND’s support of more than 45,000 borrowers is an example of every agency contributing to the well- being of our citizens,” stated the Industrial Commission. “This will help relieve financial stress for many North Dakota families.”
BND’s student loan portfolio is $1.18 billion with 46,760 borrowers. Its student loan program was started in 1997 to fill the gap between federal student loans, savings, scholarships and grants in meeting the financing needs of higher education for residents.
To request the deferment of payments, borrowers can complete a simple form online at bnd.nd.gov/covid or call 800.472.2166 extension 328.5660.
BND is the only state-owned bank in the nation and is overseen by the Industrial Commission of North Dakota, which consists of Governor Doug Burgum as chairman, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.