Deferment

Sometimes even your best-laid plans to repay your student loans can be affected by life’s changes, such as unemployment, economic hardship, or a decision to go back to school to further your education.

Whatever the case, you may find it necessary to temporarily postpone repayment of your student loans. You can do this by applying for a deferment — a period during which repayment of the principal and interest of your loan is temporarily delayed.

You are entitled to defer, or postpone, your student loan payments when you meet certain eligibility criteria and you request a deferment. The most common deferments are in-school, unemployment, economic hardship, graduate fellowship, and rehabilitation training.

Select the statement below that best describes your situation to see a description of a deferment that applies to that situation, a list of eligibility requirements for that deferment, and the option to download and print the form you’ll need to submit to your loan holder to take advantage of the deferment. If you need further assistance, contact your lender or servicer or TG’s Default Aversion team.

In-School Deferment is for borrowers who are attending an eligible school as a full-time or at least half-time student. You must have an authorized school official certify your dates of attendance and enrollment status.

You may qualify if:

  • You attend an institution of higher education that is eligible to participate in Title IV financial assistance programs, and
  • You are at least a half-time student whose first loan was made on or after July 1, 1987.

To apply:

  1. Download the In-School Deferment Request in English or Spanish.
  2. Complete the form. To enter information into the interactive form, place your cursor in a field or tab from field to field. Turn interactive check boxes on and off by clicking on them.
  3. Print and sign the form. Have an authorized official complete Section 4 or attach separate documentation from an authorized official that includes all of the information requested.
  4. Mail the form and any required documentation directly to your loan holder.

The Unemployment Deferment is for borrowers who wish to postpone payment of their student loans while unemployed or working less than 30 hours a week, or while working full time at a job that is not expected to last more than 90 consecutive days.

If your first loan was made before July 1, 1993, the maximum cumulative time frame that you may receive this deferment is 24 months. If your first loan was made on or after July 1, 1993, the maximum cumulative time frame that you may receive this deferment is 36 months.

You may qualify if:

  • You’re diligently attempting but unable to find full-time employment in the United States in any field, at any salary, or at any responsibility level, and you’re registered with a private or public employment agency if there is one within 50 miles of your permanent or temporary address (school placement offices and “temporary” agencies don’t qualify as public or private employment agencies); or
  • You provide documentation establishing that you’re eligible for unemployment benefits.

If you’re requesting an extension of an existing unemployment deferment, you must have made at least six diligent attempts to find full-time employment in the most recent six months.

To apply:

  1. Download the Unemployment Deferment Request in English or Spanish.
  1. Complete the form. To enter information into the interactive form, place your cursor in a field or tab from field to field. Turn interactive check boxes on and off by clicking on them.
  2. Print and sign the form and mail it directly to your loan holder.

The maximum cumulative time that you may receive an Economic Hardship Deferment is 36 months.

You may qualify if:

  • You had no outstanding FFELP loan balance on the date you received a loan on or after July 1, 1993, and
  • One of the following conditions exists:
    • You’ve been granted an economic hardship deferment under the FDLP (Direct) or the Federal Perkins Loan Program.
    • You’re receiving or have received payments under a federal or state public assistance program.
    • You’re working full time and your monthly income is lower than a federally defined maximum.
    • You’re serving as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Note that if you’re applying for this deferment for your service in the Peace Corps, you must provide your loan holder with documentation, signed and dated by an authorized Peace Corps official, that certifies the beginning and anticipated ending dates of your service.

To apply:

  1. Download the Economic Hardship Deferment Request in English or Spanish.
  2. Complete the form. To enter information into the interactive form, place your cursor in a field or tab from field to field. Turn interactive check boxes on and off by clicking on them.
  3. Print and sign the form and mail it directly to your loan holder.

The Graduate Fellowship Deferment is for borrowers engaged in a full-time course of study in a graduate fellowship program. You must have an authorized graduate fellowship program official certify your dates of engagement in the program.

You may qualify if all of the following apply:

  • Your graduate fellowship program:
    • Provides sufficient financial support to allow for full-time study for a period of at least six months.
    • Requires, prior to the awarding of financial support, a written statement from each applicant that explains the applicant’s objectives.
    • Requires a graduate fellow to submit periodic reports, projects, or other evidence of the graduate fellow’s progress.
    • In the case of a course of study at a foreign university, accepts the course of study for completion of the fellowship program.
  • You hold at least a bachelor’s degree conferred by an institution of higher education.
  • You’ve been accepted or recommended by an institution of higher education for acceptance into the graduate fellowship program on a full-time basis.

To apply:

  1. Download the Graduate Fellowship Deferment Request in English or Spanish.
  1. Complete the form. To enter information into the interactive form, place your cursor in a field or tab from field to field. Turn interactive check boxes on and off by clicking on them.
  2. Print and sign the form. Have an authorized official complete Section 4 or attach separate documentation from an authorized official that includes all of the information requested.
  3. Mail the form and any required documentation directly to your loan holder.

The Rehabilitation Training Deferment is a deferment for borrowers engaged in a full-time rehabilitation training program. There is no maximum time frame for this deferment. You must have an authorized rehabilitation training program official certify your dates of engagement in the program.

You may qualify if all of the following apply:

  • Your training program is licensed, approved, certified, or recognized as providing rehabilitation training to disabled individuals by the Department of Veterans Affairs or a state agency responsible for vocational rehabilitation, drug abuse treatment, mental health services, or alcohol abuse treatment programs.
  • Your training program provides services under a written individualized plan that specifies the date the services are expected to end.
  • Your training program is structured in a way that requires a substantial commitment by you toward your rehabilitation. (“Substantial commitment” means a commitment of time and effort that would normally prevent a person from being employed 30 or more hours per week in a position expected to last at least three months.)
  • You’re either receiving, or scheduled to receive, these rehabilitation services.

To apply:

  1. Download the Rehabilitation Training Deferment Request in English or Spanish.
  1. Complete the form. To enter information into the interactive form, place your cursor in a field or tab from field to field. Turn interactive check boxes on and off by clicking on them.
  2. Print and sign the form. Have an authorized official complete Section 4 or attach separate documentation from an authorized official that includes all of the information requested.
  3. Mail the form and any required documentation directly to your loan holder.

You may qualify for a Parent PLUS Borrower Deferment if you have a Direct or Federal PLUS loan that was first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, or you have an outstanding balance on a FFELP loan that was made before July 1, 1993, when you obtained a Direct or Federal PLUS Loan on or after July 1993.

For Parent PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, you may receive deferment for any period that your student beneficiary is enrolled at least half time and for the six-month period that follows. Your student must be a dependent student during the deferment period requested. The deferment form must be certified by an authorized school official for dependent students enrolled at least half time at an eligible institution.

To apply:

  1. Download the Parent PLUS Borrower Deferment Request in English or Spanish.
  2. Complete the form. To enter information into the interactive form, place your cursor in a field or tab from field to field. Turn interactive check boxes on and off by clicking on them.
  3. Print and sign the form. Have an authorized official complete Section 4 or attach separate documentation from an authorized official that includes all of the information requested.
  4. Mail the form and any required documentation directly to your loan holder.

The Temporary Total Disability Deferment is for borrowers with FFELP loans who are temporarily totally disabled or unable to secure or continue employment because they’re caring for a dependent or spouse who’s temporarily totally disabled. The maximum cumulative time frame that you may receive this deferment is 36 months. Eligibility must be recertified every six months by your physician or your spouse’s or dependent’s physician.

You may qualify if:

  • You have an outstanding balance on at least one FFELP loan that was made before July 1, 1993.
  • You are, or your spouse or dependent is, temporarily totally disabled.
  • You’re unable to work and earn money or go to school for at least 60 days in order to recover from an injury or illness.
  • You’re not requesting this deferment based on a condition that existed before you applied for your loans, or underlying loans in the case of a Consolidation loan, unless your condition has since substantially deteriorated, and you’re now temporarily totally disabled.
  • You’re requesting this deferment based on the disability of your spouse or dependent, and your spouse or dependent has an injury or illness that requires at least 90 days of continuous nursing or similar care from you, which prevents you from securing full-time employment of at least 30 hours per week in a position expected to last at least three months.

To apply:

  1. Download the Temporary Total Disability Deferment Request in English or Spanish.
  2. Complete the form. To enter information into the interactive form, place your cursor in a field or tab from field to field. Turn interactive check boxes on and off by clicking on them.
  3. Print and sign the form. Have a physician complete Section 4 or attach separate documentation from the physician that includes all of the information requested.
  4. Mail the form and any required documentation directly to your loan holder.

The Military Service Deferment is for borrowers serving on active duty military service or National Guard duty during a war or other military operation, or during a national emergency, and for an additional 180 days following the completion of the qualifying military service. You or your representative must provide your loan holder with required documentation. Military Service Deferments may apply to Stafford, PLUS loans, and Consolidation loans.

Note: If you have loans that you obtained before going on active duty military service, you may be eligible to limit the interest rate on your loans to 6 percent during the period of your active duty military service under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Contact your loan holder for more information.

You may qualify for a Military Service Deferment if you’re serving on active duty, or performing qualifying National Guard duty, during a war or other military operation or national emergency.

To apply:

  1. Download the Military Service Deferment Request.
  2. Complete the form. To enter information into the interactive form, place your cursor in a field or tab from field to field. Turn interactive check boxes on and off by clicking on them.
  3. Print and sign the form. Have an authorized official complete Section 4 or attach a written statement from your commanding or personnel officer that includes all of the information requested or a copy of your military orders.
  4. Mail the form and any required documentation directly to your loan holder.

The Peace Corps Deferment is for borrowers who are full-time volunteers in the Peace Corps. The maximum cumulative time frame that you may receive this deferment is 36 months. You must have an authorized official of the Peace Corps certify your dates of service.

You may qualify if you have agreed to serve for a period of at least one year. The US Department of Education provides a FAQ on federal student loans for Peace Corps volunteers.

To apply:

  1. Download the Economic Hardship Deferment Request (which includes Peace Corps service) in English or Spanish.
  2. Complete the form. To enter information into the interactive form, place your cursor in a field or tab from field to field. Turn interactive check boxes on and off by clicking on them.
  3. Print and sign the form. Have an authorized official complete Section 4 or attach separate documentation from an authorized official that includes all of the information requested.
  4. Mail the form and any required documentation directly to your loan holder.

The Post-Active Duty Student Deferment is for borrowers who have completed their active duty military service, and were called to active duty at the time of, or within six months of, attending school at least half time. The time frame during which you may receive this deferment is 13 months following the completion of your active duty military service and any applicable grace period, or until the date you resume enrollment at an eligible school on at least a half-time basis.

You may qualify if you were called or ordered to active duty and all of the following apply:

  • You’re a member of the National Guard or Armed Forces Reserve, including a member who was in a retired status when activated.
  • Your service includes a period on or after October 1, 2007.
  • You were enrolled in school on at least a half-time basis in a program of study at an eligible school at the time of, or within six months prior to, being called or ordered to active duty.

To apply:

  1. Download the Post-Active Duty Student Deferment Request.
  2. Complete the form. To enter information into the interactive form, place your cursor in a field or tab from field to field. Turn interactive check boxes on and off by clicking on them.
  3. Print and sign the form. Have an authorized official complete Section 4 or attach a written statement from your commanding or personnel officer that includes all of the information requested or a copy of your military orders.
  4. Mail the form and any required documentation directly to your loan holder.