How Clarisse Sison got a $9,700 refund on her federal student loans

  • Clarisse Sison, 24, paid off $47,199 in student loans in just two years.
  • Sison saw on TikTok that you can get a refund on all payments made during the pandemic.
  • She called her student loan officer and she will receive $9,700 by direct deposit.

When President Biden announced $10,000 in student loan forgiveness per borrower, 24-year-old Clarisse Sison didn’t think the news applied to her. Sison started paying off her student loans even before she graduated in May 2020, and she finished paying them off just two years after graduation.

After the pardon was announced, “A lot of people have asked me if I ever regret paying off my student loans, and I’m not,” says Sison, who is the author’s sister. However, while browsing TikTok, Sison learned that she could get a refund on all the payments she made during the pandemic – meaning she could benefit from Biden’s plan after all.

Sison called her student loan officer and learned she was entitled to a $9,700 refund

She says: “People on TikTok were like, ‘Oh yeah, that was super easy. It is legitimate! what she saw on TikTok was not real. “I was like, ‘OK, I’m just going to call my loan manager,'” Sison says.

After two hours of waiting, she was shocked to learn that TikTok was right: Sison will receive an estimated refund of $9,784, the full amount of payments she made during the pandemic.

“I really thought, ‘There’s no way I’m getting that much money back,’ but I did. So it was like, the best surprise ever,” she says. “I didn’t even expect to have a chance to get that money back.”

Borrowers can get a cash refund, but this will be added to the principal balance of the loan.

Now operational again, the Federal Student Aid website says borrowers can get a refund for any amount, including automatic payments, paid during the pandemic payment pause that began March 13, 2020. For the most part borrowers who still have a student loan balance, you can get a cash refund, but the refunded amount will be added to your main balance.

In Sison’s case, since she has already repaid all of her student loans, her student loan officer said her repayment would be made by direct deposit and her account would remain closed.

Sison said she would use the $9,700 to save for a house

Sison says paying off her student loans put her in a “toxic relationship” with her money so quickly. “I didn’t spend any money on myself, like I wasn’t exaggerating at all,” she says. According to records seen by Insider, Sison paid up to $400 a week on his student loans for a few months. Some months she made additional lump sum payments of $800.

Now that she has nearly $10,000 back, Sison wants to use some of the money to save for her first home. She says, “I’m definitely going to treat myself to something nice, like I want that really expensive $600 pair of Jordans. And then the rest I’m saving up just because I want to buy a house.”

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