Deferment and Forbearance

There are a number of deferment and forbearance options available to federal loan program borrowers. Your loan repayment begins six (6) months after you graduate OR stop attending at least half-time. If you are not able to begin making payments once your grace period has expired you have a number of options available to you.


What is deferment?

A deferment is a period of time during which no payments are required and interest does not accrue, unless you have an unsubsidized loan. If you have borrowed an unsubsidized loan interest will accrue and you may be required to make interest payments during your deferment period.

What is a forbearance?

A forbearance is a temporary postponement or reduction of your payment. Interest continues to accrue on your loan but you are not responsible to pay it, no matter what kind of loan you have.

Can I defer payment on the Parent PLUS loan?

For Parent PLUS loans that are first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, parent borrowers have the option of deferring repayment based on the enrollment status of the dependent student on whose behalf the loan was obtained. Borrowers may defer repayment:

  • While the dependent student on whose behalf the loan was obtained is enrolled at least a half-time (6 credits), and
  • During the 6-month period after the dependent student on whose behalf the loan was obtained ceases to be enrolled at least a half-time (6 credits)

**Please make note that if you checked the deferment box on the PLUS loan application this does not automatically defer the payments. The parent must complete the requirements for a deferment with the loan servicer.**

If you would like to request a deferment you can contact your Federal Direct Loan servicer and request a deferment. If you do not know your loan servicer, you can retrieve Federal Direct Loan information online as well as access your loan history by going to the National Student Loan Database and using your Federal Student Aid PIN.

Interest will accrue during the deferment period. The parent borrower will be sent interest statements and will have the option of paying the interest during the deferment period. The unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized (added to the principal balance) at the end of the deferment period.

Can my loans be forgiven?

Certain academic majors have the possibility of loan forgiveness. The following links will provide you with more information:

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness: You may be eligible for a loan discharge if you have been employed full-time by a public service organization.
  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness: You may qualify for loan forgiveness if you taught full-time for five consecutive academic years in a qualified school district.

What types of situations are considered for a deferment or forbearance?

The following are some of the most common reasons:

  • At least half-time enrollment at a postsecondary school
  • Study in an approved graduate fellowship program
  • An approved rehabilitation training program for the disabled
  • Economic hardship
  • Serving on active duty in the U.S. Military
  • If you are seeking, but unable to find full-time employment
  • General Forbearance

Contact your loan servicer to discuss your situation and request an application for deferment or forbearance. If you do not know your loan servicer, you can retrieve Federal Direct Loan information online as well as access your loan history by going to the National Student Loan Database and using your Federal Student Aid PIN.