FFEL Program Deferment and Forbearance Options

Sometimes special circumstances arise that make it difficult for you to pay back your loans. Deferment and forbearance are two important tools that allow you to adjust or postpone your loan payments.

LOAN DEFERMENT for the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and Perkins Loans

A deferment is a period of time during which a lender suspends regular loan payments on a federal student loan. Deferments are granted for specific situations and have certain time limitations and conditions for eligibility. In general, deferments are granted for:

In addition, deferments for the following circumstances are available:

If the deferred loan is a subsidized Federal Stafford loan or a Federal Perkins loan, the government will pay the interest on the loan during the deferment period. If the deferred loan is an unsubsidized Federal Stafford loan, the borrower is responsible for paying the interest that accrues during the deferment period.

Borrowers should contact their loan holders to apply for a deferment. If a borrower does not know who their loan holder is they may visit the National Student Loan Data System .

LOAN FORBEARANCE

With few exceptions, forbearances are granted at the discretion of the loan holder.  However, the lender must grant a forbearance in any of the situations listed below if the borrower requesting the forbearance meets all eligibility criteria:

Debt Equals or Exceeds 20% of Monthly Income
Student Loan Debt Burden Forbearance Request Form

Department of Defense Loan Repayment Program
Department of Defense Loan Repayment Forbearance Request Form

Medical or Dental Internship/Residency
Medical or Dental Internship/Residency Forbearance Request Form

National Guard Active State Duty
National Guard Duty Forbearance Request Form

Borrowers should contact their loan holders to apply for forbearance. If a borrower does not know who their lender is they may visit the National Student Loan Data System.  Borrowers should not cease making payments until they receive written notification that forbearance has been granted.