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How to Request a Student Loan Deferment

Student loan deferment is a process you can apply for if you find that you can't make your payments on time for your student loans. It allows for the temporary or permanent stoppage of making student loan payments.

Deferment Defined

A deferment excuses a borrower from making his student loan payments for a certain set period of time, usually due to a specific circumstance like an economic hardship, sudden unemployment or returning to school.

Private Loan Deferment

Before you make a request, ensure that you qualify for a deferment. Check your specific loan policy with a loan servicer or your financial institution. You cannot default on your loan and must meet all of the conditions as outlined by your particular loan institution. For example, your payments must have been made on time and you must be within the grace period after graduation. You must also have not been granted previous deferments or forbearances.

Ensure that you meet all specific qualifications for deferment under your federal loan rules. The most common condition to meet is that you are enrolled in school at least half-time, with an inability to find full-time employment (and experiencing economic hardship) for as long as three years. You will not qualify if the loan is already in default for any reason.

Federal Loan Deferment

Parents of graduate or professional degree students can defer repayment of PLUS, Stafford, Perkins, Direct and FFELSM loans. For Federal Perkins Loans, contact the school which made the loan or the educational facility's servicing agent. For Direct and PLUS loans, contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-848-0979. For FFEL Loans, contact the lender or agency that is holding the loan.

To find out who the servicer of your loan is, you can find it on the U.S. Department of Education's National Student Loan Data SystemSM (NSLDSSM). Parents, graduate and professional degree students should be aware that because federal loans are unsubsidized, interest will be charged during all deferment periods. When interest is not paid as it accrues, it will be added to the outstanding principal balance amount (capitalized).

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