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Student Loan Forbearance

A period of time where students do not have to pay their student loans.

What is student loan forbearance?

A period of time where students do not have to pay their student loans— interest is still accrued on all student loans including subsidized and unsubsidized loans, as well as PLUS loans.

More on Student Loan Forbearance

If a person has a federal student loan and is having difficulties making payments due to financial difficulty, he or she may be eligible for forbearance. There are two types to of forbearance to understand.

  1. Discretionary: Whether or not forbearance is applied to student loans is at the discretion of the lender.
  1. Mandatory: Forbearance must be applied to student loans by the lender because the applicant meets certain criteria.

Requesting a Discretionary Forbearance

There are a few reasons why a discretionary forbearance may be requested:

  • During times of application processing for loan consolidation or cancellation
  • Financial hardship
  • Prior to filing for bankruptcy
  • Personal challenges
  • Illness

Requesting Mandatory Forbearance

There are a few situations why a mandatory forbearance may be requested:

  • Internships and residency program: The applicant is a dental or medical student participating in an internship or residency.
  • National Guard member: The applicant is not yet eligible for military deferment, but has been activated by a governor.
  • Monthly gross income: The applicant’s combined amount due for all student loans, is 20% or greater than 20% of the applicant’s overall monthly gross income.
  • U.S. Department of Defense Student Loan Repayment Program: The applicant qualifies for a partial repayment.
  • National Service: The applicant is serving in one of the country’s national service programs.

Student Loan Forbearance and Private Loans

There are no situations or reasons where a private student loan lender is required to provide an applicant with a forbearance. However, this does not mean that they will not grant a student loan forbearance.

If a student carries private student loans, and feels that what he or she is experiencing in life would benefit from a forbearance from private student loan, that student should call and discuss it with his or her lender.

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