Student Loan Deferment

A student loan deferment is a temporary suspension of student loan payments for specific situations, for a specific period of time. Depending on what kind of loans a borrower has, the deferment options may vary.

Stafford and Perkins Loan Deferment

Principal and interest payments may be deferred while the borrower is:

  • Attending school at least half-time
  • Unemployed (up to three years)
  • Studying in an approved graduate fellowship or rehabilitation program for the disabled
  • Experiencing economic hardship (up to three years)

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Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) Deferment

Principal and interest payments may be deferred while the parent or student is:

  • Attending school at least half-time
  • Unemployed (up to three years)
  • Studying in an approved graduate fellowship or rehabilitation program for the disabled
  • Experiencing economic hardship (up to three years)

Alternative Loan Deferment

For an alternative student loan, principal and interest payments may be deferred while the borrower is continuously enrolled up to a maximum of 48 months. Additional deferments are available based on grade level, program of study and specific loan program. Borrowers should read their application and promissory note carefully for details.

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Other Payment Relief Options

Forbearance

Forbearance is a similar option for students looking to postpone or lower payments, which is slightly different from deferment. Forbearance allows borrowers to postpone or reduce payments for a certain amount of time due to financial difficulties and is available for students who may not be eligible for deferment. Learn more about student loan forbearance.

Consolidation

Student loan consolidation can help lower monthly payments by extending the term of the loan. Alternative loan borrowers may also be able to lower their interest rate.

Additional Resources for Deferment and Forbearance