Having Trouble With your Student Loan Payments? Look Into your Deferment and Forbearance Options

If you just graduated in May with federal Stafford student loans, you may be having to adjust your monthly budget to accommodate new student loan payments as your Stafford six-month grace periods end sometime this month. If you’re still looking for a job, or if you’re at an entry-level salary right now, you may not have the money you’re going to need to meet a new monthly student loan expense.

Whether you’re a recent graduate or any parent or student loan borrower, if you’re having trouble meeting your student loan payments each month, NextStudent, a leading Phoenix-based education funding company, urges you to contact your lenders about your deferment and forbearance options. Deferment and forbearance periods can allow you to temporarily reduce or postpone the monthly payments on your student loans without putting yourself at risk for damaging your credit score or defaulting on you student loans.


What are deferment and forbearance benefits?

Deferment allows you to temporarily stop making payments on your student loans. If you’re unemployed or experiencing financial hardship, you may be able to request a deferment, for up to a year at a time, up to a total of three years over the life of the student loan. You must contact your lender to request an unemployment or hardship deferment, and you may need to fill out a deferment request form.

Forbearance allows you to temporarily reduce or postpone payments on your student loans. You may be able to request a forbearance if you’re unemployed or experiencing financial hardship. You must contact your lender to request a hardship forbearance, and you’ll typically need to complete a forbearance request form. You may also need to submit supporting documentation.

Generally, a lender can grant a forbearance for up to a year at a time. Unlike unemployment or hardship deferments, there is no three-year cumulative limit on discretionary forbearance periods granted due to financial hardship.


Which student loans are eligible for deferment and forbearance?

Most federal student loans Student Loan Consolidation, Stafford loans, PLUS loans, and Grad PLUS loans) are eligible for deferment and forbearance benefits.

Some private student loans may also offer deferment or forbearance benefits—you should contact your private student loan lender.

Keep in mind that if you’re considering an economic hardship deferment or forbearance, you need to contact your lender, even for your federal student loans. Hardship deferments and discretionary forbearances are generally not automatic.


Am I being charged interest while my student loans are in deferment or forbearance?

Yes. Interest charges continue to accrue on your student loans even if they’re in deferment or forbearance. You’ll be responsible for the interest on your unsubsidized student loans (such as unsubsidized Stafford loans) that are in deferment and on any of your student loans, whether subsidized or unsubsidized, that are in forbearance. The government will pay the interest on any of your subsidized student loans (such as Perkins or subsidized Stafford loans) that you have in deferment.

Any unpaid interest that accrues during a deferment or forbearance period will be capitalized and added to your principal student loan balance for you to repay once you go back into repayment. Even if your payments are postponed during a deferment or forbearance period, you can always choose to make interest payments to avoid having accrued interest added to your principal student loan balance and capitalized.

NextStudent believes that getting an education is the best investment you can make, and we’re dedicated to helping you pursue your education dreams by making college funding simple. Learn more about Student Loans, Private Student Loans and Student Loan Consolidation at NextStudent.com.

By: Jeff Mictabor

Student loans for bad credit

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