Don’t Wait – Act Now if you are having trouble making payments

If you are having difficulties making your student loan payments, there are many options to help you avoid default. Forbearance is a temporary solution that stops or decreases your student loan payments when you are struggling to pay your student loans in certain situations. Only federal student loans qualify for forbearance, not private student loans.

What is a Forbearance?

Forbearance means your loan payments will be temporarily reduced or suspended for up to 12 months. When your request for forbearance is approved and granted you will either not have to make loan payments or have lower payments for a short time.

Benefits of Student Loan Forbearance
  • You will be able to have lower payments or not have to make payments.
  • This can help you avoid default.
  • It will eliminate any delinquency that currently exists on your account.
Disadvantages of Forbearance

During student loan forbearance all loans will always continue to accrue interest (which means you’ll end up paying more in the long run).

  • If you don’t pay at least the interest during the forbearance period, the unpaid interest will be added to your principal balance which means you end up paying more for the loan over time.
  • At the end of forbearance your regular monthly payment might increase if you don’t pay the interest and that is added to your principal.
  • It doesn’t remove any past-due information that was previously reported to the national credit bureaus so it won’t change your credit history.
  • Forbearance doesn’t count towards forgiveness. If you are pursuing loan forgiveness like the income-based repayment plan the time your loan is in forbearance doesn’t count toward the forgiveness period.
Keep Paying Your Loan Until Approved For Forbearance

Until you are notified that your deferment or forbearance is approved and granted you must continue to make loan payments or else the loan will become delinquent and you may default on your loan. Remember that once you are approved, Forbearance is granted for no more than 12 months and if must reapply if you still need help.

Try to Pay your Interest while in Forbearance

Your loan will continue to accrue interest when in forbearance. We encourage you to try to pay the interest while your student loan is in forbearance if possible because if you don’t that interest that is accrued will be added to your principal after deferment and that will increase your monthly payments as well as total amount of the loan you must repay.

Learn more about federal loan forbearance 

What type of forbearance should I apply for?

Are you temporarily unable to make your loan payments because of a financial hardship like medical expenses or changes in employment?

General Forbearance
This is sometimes called discretionary forbearance because the loan lender decides if this is granted or not. General Forbearance can be requested if you are temporarily unable to make your monthly loan payments for financial hardship reasons like medical expenses or changes in employment. Download the General Forbearance Application (PDF)

Are you enrolled in a medical/dental internship or residency, a member of the National Guard, or on the Department of Defense Repayment?

Mandatory Forbearance
If you are enrolled in a medical or dental internship/residency or a member of the National Guard on active duty, or are patriating in the Department of Defense Repayment then you can apply for Mandatory Forbearance. Download the Mandatory Forbearance Application (PDF)

Are your student loan payments 20% or more than your monthly gross income?

Loan Debt Burden Forbearance
If you have excessive student loan debt burden where your Federal Student loan payments are 20% or more than your monthly gross income. Download the Mandatory Forbearance Application (PDF)

Are you a teacher who meets qualifications for loan forgiveness?

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Forbearance
If you are a teacher and meet the qualifications, you can enroll in the federal loan forgiveness for teachers program. Download the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Forbearance Application (PDF)

Learn more about other options for teachers

Are you serving in AmeriCorps?

Another type of forbearance is available for AmeriCorps service. Learn more

I don’t qualify for forbearance, what other options are there?

Please contact us immediately if you are having trouble making your student loan payment. If you do not qualify for a forbearance, you may be able to change your loan repayment plan. There may be a repayment plan that offers lower payments than you’re currently making.

Beware of Loan Forbearance Scams

Unfortunately, many companies that offer student loan debt relief are trying to make money off people who need help with their student loans. You should never pay for help with the forbearance of a student loan.

The following loan assistance services are free:

Learn more about loan forbearance scams