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Worksheets, Resources and Tips
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Sometimes it may seem impossible to make your student loan payment. Maybe you decided to go back to grad school, your entry-level salary isn’t what you expected, or a health condition prevents you from working—but you have deferment and forbearance options to postpone your payments and bring your account current without hurting your credit. Each option has its own eligibility rules and time limits. Read on to see which fits your unique situation—we almost always have a solution for you.
Take a Break from Payments
Both deferments and forbearances give you a break from monthly payments for a set period of time. Many options are available to meet a variety of needs. If you are having difficulty making payments and want to see which options fit your specific situation, log in to your account and click Postpone My Payment to see which deferment or forbearance works best for you. Of course, you can also call us at (888) 486-4722 to talk through your options.
- Log in to your account and click Postpone My Payment to apply for deferment or forbearance. You can also call us at (888) 486-4722.
- Learn more about the difference between deferment and forbearance.
- Calculate accrued interest while in deferment or forbearance. (To avoid capitalization, you may choose to pay accruing interest or even small payments toward the balance.)
Explore Options Now
Avoid Default With Deferment or Forbearance
If you are experiencing financial hardship, go back to school, are unemployed, or are on active duty military service, postponing payments with deferment may be right for you. Subsidized Stafford loans and subsidized consolidation loans will not accrue additional interest, so your balance after the deferment period will be the same as when it started. However, for unsubsidized Stafford loans, PLUS loans, SLS loans, or unsubsidized consolidation loans, interest will accrue during the deferment period, so it’s wise to pay at least the interest on your loan each month. This will prevent your interest from being capitalized, or added to the principal of your loan, essentially increasing your total balance and requiring you to pay more in the long run.
If you work an internship, perform certain types of community service, or find yourself experiencing financial hardship, you may be qualified to postpone payments with forbearance. All loans accrue interest during forbearance, so it’s smart to pay at least the monthly interest during this period to avoid interest capitalization. Forbearance resolves any delinquency on the account—log in to your account and click Postpone My Payment to see if you’re eligible. You can also call us at (888) 486-4722.
The federal government has allowed for these deferment options. Read on to see if these situations apply to you. Remember—just because you are eligible for a deferment does not mean you are required to request it; if you feel you can make payments on your loan, you are encouraged to do so.
If you are having financial difficulties…
Because there are serious consequences for falling behind on your payments, contact your loan servicer immediately. They can help you develop a plan to bring your loan current again.
Repaying your student loans
Sallie Mae is committed to giving you the information and tools you need to understand and evaluate your student loan payment options. We can help you find an option that fits your budget, simplifies payment, and minimizes your total interest cost.
Before you choose a repayment plan
- Understand the repayment options available to you. Sallie Mae offers standard, graduated, income-sensitive, income-based and extended repayment plans on federal student loans.
- Realize that combined billing is available for Sallie Mae-serviced loans.*
- Compare your repayment options. Estimate your monthly student loan payments for eligible Sallie Mae loans with our Loan Repayment Calculator. Or, if your loans are in repayment, you can view repayment plans that may be available for your loans at Manage Your Loans
- Know that you can prepay your loans in part or in full at any time without penalty. This will lower the overall cost of your loan.
- Realize the importance of paying back your student loans.
- Understand that choosing a plan with lower payments may result in higher costs over the life of the loan.
Lower monthly payments
Payment amount reduction may be available for those who qualify. Federal student loan repayment plans offering lower monthly payment amounts than the standard repayment plan are:
Lowest overall loan cost
Make level monthly payments of principal and interest to help control interest costs.
Postpone your payments
Private student loans
Eligibility for Sallie Mae private student loan repayment plans may vary by loan type, loan balance, and disbursement date.
The Sallie Mae Smart Option Student LoanSM first disbursed June 1, 2009 and later requires monthly interest-only payments during the in-school and separation periods. Check the terms of your loan’s specific Promissory Note and log in to Manage Your Loans to see if your loan status shows repayment. If so, and you are enrolled in school, then you are not eligible for other repayment options at this time.
Private student loans first disbursed before June 1, 2009, may be eligible for graduated repayment to lower the initial monthly loan payments.
*Combined billing is available for eligible student loans that are serviced by Sallie Mae. Some restrictions may apply.