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.)
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.