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 and avoid default. Deferment is a temporary solution that stops or decreases your student loan payments during circumstances that have you struggling to repay your student loans. Only federal student loans qualify for deferment, not private student loans.
Deferment means your loan payments will be postponed for a period of time. When your application for deferment is approved and granted you will not have to make loan payments during that time. During deferment most subsidized loans won’t accrue interest but unsubsidized loans will always accrue interest during deferment (which means you’ll end up paying more).
Keep Paying Your Loan Until Approved For Deferment
Until you are notified that your deferment is approved and granted you must continue to make loan payments or else your loan will become delinquent and you may default on your loan.
Try to pay your interest while in deferment
Some loans will not accrue interest when in deferment but others will continue to accrue interest. We encourage you to try to pay the interest while in deferment if possible because if you don’t the additional interest will be added to your principal after the deferment period and this will increase your monthly payments and the total amount of the loan you must repay.
If you are having financial difficulty and have an extremely low monthly income, receive public assistance or serve in the Peace Corps then you can apply for the Economic Hardship Deferment to postpone your loan payments.
If you are enrolled in a full-time course of study in a Graduate Fellowship program or a full-time rehabilitation training program then you can apply to postpone your payments with Graduate Fellowship Deferment.
If you are currently enrolled on a full-time or half-time basis at an eligible school you can apply for the In-School Deferment to delay your student loan payments. This deferment requires that your school certify your enrollment.
If you are serving on active duty recently served during a war, military operation or national emergency you can postpone payments. Learn about other options for Military Service members.
Postpone payments if you are a parent with your student attending an eligible school at least half-time, or up to 6 months after the student is no longer enrolled or enrolled less than half-time.
Note: The Parent PLUS Borrower Deferment form listed is available in portable document format (PDF). If you do not have a PDF reader, you can download a free copy from Adobe Acrobat Reader. It will take a few minutes to complete the download.
If you are currently unemployed or unable to find full-time employment this deferment type postpones payments if you are seeking full-time employment through registry with an employment agency or are receiving unemployment benefits.
Note: The Unemployment Deferment form listed is available in portable document format (PDF). If you do not have a PDF reader, you can download a free copy from Adobe Acrobat Reader. It will take a few minutes to complete the download.
If you are enrolled in a program for physical or vocational rehabilitation or mental health, drug or alcohol treatment you can postpone your payments when you are enrolled in qualifying programs.
How to Apply
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 a loan deferment. The following loan assistance services are free:
Learn more about loan deferment scams