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Deferment and Forbearance

If you are having trouble repaying your federal student loans, you should try to avoid default by attempting to work out an affordable repayment plan with your loan servicer. Your options might include:

  • Changing your repayment plan
  • Obtaining a deferment
  • Obtaining a forbearance
  • Loan consolidation

Photo of a graudation hat resting on a pile of money

Both deferment and forbearance allow you to delay making your federal student loan payments. Generally, you will be granted a deferment if you apply for one and meet the required criteria, while some types of forbearance are allowed only at the discretion of your lender.

Loan Deferment

If you are unemployed, facing economic hardship, or in another approved circumstance, loan deferment allows you to delay repayment. You do not need to make loan payments during a period of deferment. The reason for the deferment will generally dictate how long it lasts.

Important Notes:

If you are interested in learning whether a deferment is a good option for you, please visit StudentAid.gov or contact your lender or servicer for further information.

Forbearance

Forbearance allows you to stop or reduce your monthly student loan payments for up to one year. This time period can be extended upon your request if you continue to meet the forbearance requirements. Some types of forbearance are mandatory, meaning that your lender must grant you the forbearance if you meet certain requirements, while other types of forbearance are discretionary, meaning that the lender can choose whether to grant you the forbearance.

Considerations:

If you are interested in learning whether forbearance is a good option for you, please visit StudentAid.gov or contact your lender or servicer for further information.

About the Student Protection Unit | Consumer Alert: Student Debt Relief Companies