Deferment and Forbearance

How to Determine if You Qualify

In certain circumstances, you may qualify for a deferment or a forbearance that will temporarily stop, delay or lower your monthly federal student loan payment. Contact your loan holder; they will determine your eligibility and will let you know what information is needed in order to process the deferment or forbearance. 



Sometimes you have a right to postpone your federal student loan payment by getting a deferment. Your federal student loan payment may be temporarily suspended while you gather the deferment information, so talk to your loan holder. The federal government pays the interest on your subsidized loan while your payments are deferred, but does not pay the interest on your unsubsidized loan.


The most common reasons for deferments are:

  • Attending school at least half-time
  • Studying full-time in a graduate fellowship program
  • Participating in a full-time rehabilitation training program for disabled people
  • Actively seeking employment, but unable to find a full-time job
  • Experiencing financial difficulty
  • Military service


Visit our forms page to view the deferment forms available or contact your loan holder to see if you qualify for a deferment. The eligibility requirements are included in each form. 



If you are having difficulty making your federal student loan payment and don’t qualify for a deferment, contact your loan holder about a forbearance to delay or lower your payment. Unlike a deferment where the federal government pays the interest on a subsidized loan, you are responsible for the interest on all loans during forbearance.