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Deferment and Forbearance

There may be situations in which borrowers are unable to make payments on their loans, in which case there could be eligibility for a deferment or a forbearance.  A deferment is a situation in which borrowers could temporarily stop making payments on their Federal Direct Loan(s).  Borrowers would still be responsible for interest on the loans.  Circumstances which may qualify borrowers for a deferment include the following:

  • Returning to school in at least a half-time status
  • Studying full time in a graduate fellowship
  • Approved rehabilitation training
  • Unemployment (deferment limited to 3 years)
  • Economic hardship (deferment limited to 3 years)

To receive a deferment, borrowers must submit a deferment request to their Direct Loan Servicer along with documentation of eligibility for the deferment.  Deferment (and forbearance) forms can be found at:

     Deferment and Forbearance Information

Borrowers who cannot make payments and do not qualify for a deferment may qualify for a forbearance.  Borrowers would be responsible for interest on the loans here as well.  Common reasons to receive a forbearance may include:

  • Medical/dental internships
  • Educational debt exceeding 20% of your income
  • Illness
  • Financial hardship

To determine if you qualify for a forbearance, contact your Direct Loan Servicer.