Deferment & Forbearance

The Basics

A Deferment allows you to postpone repayment and stops interest from accruing on most loans while you're in a specific qualifying situation. (The Unsubsidized Stafford Loan does continue to accrue interest.)  Not all loan programs offer the same types of deferment. Our Deferment/Forbearance chart details the options available for each loan program. It's important to review all of the loans you've borrowed and determine how to handle each one individually.

A Forbearance allows you to temporarily reduce your monthly payments to interest-only payments. Interest continues to accrue on all loan types and must be paid each month. Your regular monthly payment amount will be recalculated after the forbearance ends, to allow you to finish paying your loan within your original repayment term (typically 10 years).

Deferment is a better option for borrowers than forbearance.

Application Process

  • 1. Our Deferment/Forbearance chart lists the MAXIMUM length of each option. The deferment/forbearance can only be granted in 3-12 month increments. You MUST REAPPLY to extend the length of any approved deferment/forbearance.
  • 2. Decide whether you need/want to postpone or reduce payments on all of your loans. Can you afford to repay some of your loans & postpone others?
  • 3. Complete the application process with EACH of your servicers. Direct Stafford & PLUS borrowers, locate your servicer on NSLDS. Perkins or Institutional Loans are serviced by our Loan Office. 
  • 4. Some application forms (below) require you to send them to your residency program director, school, or employer for certification. Other forms may be returned directly to your servicer.
  • 5. You'll be notified once the servicer has determined your eligibility. You may need to provide additional documentation if requested and you'll need to keep making payments until your application is approved.
  • 6. Keep track of your deferment/forbearance end-date and be prepared to reapply or for repayment to resume. 

Types of Deferment

Remember, our Loan Office is your servicer for Perkins or Instituitional loans. Your federal servicer can give you details about Stafford/PLUS Loan deferment, or look online at StudentAid.gov.

Student Deferment

A borrower enrolled at least half-time at an eligible institution may defer repayment. Your school will need to complete a portion of this form. (Note: LDS or PCL require full-time enrollment for student deferment.)

LOAN OFFICE FORM: Deferment Application

Contact federal servicer for Stafford/PLUS form.

Internship / Residency

A borrower is eligible to defer repayment on the following loans while participating in residency training. (Note: Stafford, PLUS, and Perkins do not offer this deferment - you'll need to apply for forbearance on those loans.)

  • Casperson, Kaplan, Medical, Plitt/Anderson, or Tarandi Loans: Up to three years on loans disbursed during or after the 2005/2006 academic year.
  • Ellwood Loans: Up to three years on loans disbursed during or after the 2011/2012 academic year.
  • LDS or PCL Loans: Up to three years for borrowers pursuing advanced professional training in primary care, including internships and residencies.

Your residency program MUST complete a portion of this form.  LOAN OFFICE FORM: Residency Deferment Application

Graduate Fellowship
  • Perkins, Stafford, PLUS Loans: A borrower may be eligible for deferment if enrolled and attending as a regular student in a graduate fellowship program approved by the Secretary or if engaged in graduate or postgraduate fellowship-supported study outside the United States.
  • LDS or PCL Loans: A borrower is eligible for deferment for up to two years if participating in a fellowship training program or a full-time educational activity which is directly related to the health profession for which the borrower prepared at the Institution.

LOAN OFFICE FORM: Deferment Application

Contact federal servicer for Stafford/PLUS form.

Economic Hardship

A Perkins, Stafford, or PLUS Loan borrower may be eligible to defer repayment if they meet any of the following criteria:

Working 30 hours or more per week and meeting federal guidelines for financial difficulty.

Receiving federal or state general public assistance.

Facing a temporary disability

Perkins Loan borrowers may also apply if they have already received Economic Hardship deferment on their Stafford or PLUS Loan. See FinAid.org for additional details.

LOAN OFFICE FORM: Economic Hardship Deferment Application

Contact federal servicer for Stafford/PLUS form.

Unemployment

A Perkins, Stafford, or PLUS Loan borrower may be eligible to defer repayment while out of work or working less than 30 hours per week AND actively seeking full time employment.

LOAN OFFICE FORM:  Unemployment Deferment Application

Contact federal servicer for Stafford/PLUS form.

Volunteer under the Peace Corps Act
  • Casperson, Ellwood, Kaplan, LDS, Medical, PCL, Brown University Loans: A borrower may be eligible for deferment for up to three years while serving as a volunteer under the Peace Corps Act.
  • Perkins Loans: A borrower may be eligible for deferment and subsequent cancellation while serving as a volunteer under the Peace Corps Act. Borrowers should contact the Loan Office for additional details and application.

LOAN OFFICE FORM: Deferment Application

Contact federal servicer for Stafford/PLUS form.

Volunteer in Americorp Vista
  • Casperson, Ellwood, Kaplan, Medical, Brown University Loans: A borrower may be eligible for deferment for up to three years while serving as a volunteer under AmeriCorp Vista; under the Section 603 of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.
  • Perkins Loans: A borrower may be eligible for deferment and subsequent cancellation while serving as a volunteer in AmeriCorp Vista. Borrowers should contact the Loan Office for additional details and application.

LOAN OFFICE FORM: Deferment Application

Contact federal servicer for Stafford/PLUS form.

Full time member of the Armed Forces / Active Duty Military Service

Casperson, Ellwood, Kaplan, LDS, Medical, PCL, Brown University Loans: A borrower may be eligible for deferment for up to three years while serving as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States. (LDS or PCL define Armed Forces as the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, NOAA, or U.S. Public Health Service.)

LOAN OFFICE FORM: Deferment Application

Active Duty Military Service

Perkins, Stafford, or PLUS Loans: A borrower may be eligible for deferment only under certain specific guidelines related to Active Duty service. Borrowers should complete the Military Deferment form below.

LOAN OFFICE FORM: Military Deferment Application

Contact federal servicer for Stafford/PLUS form.

Total and Permanent Disability

See the Total and Permanent Disability Cancellation section.

Urban Education Loan Deferment

Urban Education Loan borrowers may defer repayment while completing qualifying service.

LOAN OFFICE FORM: Urban Education Loan Deferment

Forbearance

Apply for forbearance when you need to reduce your monthly loan payments but aren't eligible for deferment.

Americorp Forbearance

Perkins Loans - borrowers completing Americorp service may place their loans in forbearance and Americorp will pay the accruing interest.

AMERICORP:  Americorp Forbearance Process

Forbearance

Perkins or Institutional Loans - reduce your monthly payment to interest-only.

LOAN OFFICE FORM: Forbearance Application

Loan Codes & Types

D10: Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS)    M06: Plitt/Anderson
Mo2: Casperson                                                           M07: Tarandi
M03: Medical                                                               P10: Primary Care (PCL)
M04: Kaplan                                                                PER: Perkins
M05: Ellwood                                                              POL: University

FAQ

What should I consider before applying?

Think about your situation and the types of loan you've borrowed. Can you afford to repay some, but not all? You can choose to defer certain loans and continue paying others.

Deferment is a better option than forbearance because interest does not continue to accrue on most loans during deferment. Deferment periods aren't counted against your total repayment term (typically 10 years). In forbearance, interest does continue to accrue and the period is counted against your total repayment term. This means that your monthly payments are recalculated and increased after your forbearance period ends.  Consider forbearance only in situations where you aren't eligible for deferment.

What is the difference between Unemployment Deferment and Economic Hardship Deferment?

Both of these options are only available to Stafford, PLUS, or Perkins Loan borrowers. If you have Institutional Loans, you'll need to apply for forbearance.

Apply for an Unemployment Deferment if you are currently unemployed or under employed (working less than 30 hours a week) AND are actively seeking full-time employment.  You may also apply if you are receiving unemployment benefits. 

Apply for an Economic Hardship Deferment if you are working 30 hours or more and are experiencing financial hardship.