Understand Deferments and Forbearance
Discover how you may be eligible to postpone or adjust your loan payment.
Sometimes a borrower is faced with circumstances that make it difficult to make payments on a loan. If you face such a situation, you might qualify for a deferment or forbearance that will allow you to adjust or postpone your loan payments.
A deferment is a period of time during repayment in which your lender postpones your regular loan payments, if you meet certain conditions. During a deferment period, the government will pay the interest on your subsidized loan. If you have an unsubsidized loan, you must pay the interest that accrues during the deferment (or let it accrue and have it added to the principal when the deferment is over).
Generally, a deferment is a borrower entitlment. So, if you demonstrate eligibility for a deferment and provide the lender with the necessary documentation required to establish eligibility, your deferment request may not be denied.
In general, deferments are granted for:
- Enrollment in school, on at least a half-time basis;
- Study in a graduate fellowship program;
- Participation in a rehabilitation training program for disabled individuals;
- Economic hardship; or
- Military service.
Other types of deferments might also be available to certain borrowers. Check with your lender or the company that services your loan for more information. You can also contact TG Customer Assistance at (800) 845-6267 for more information. Remember, you must apply for deferments; they aren't granted automatically.
Deferment Requests and Downloadable Forms
Deferment requests must be made by speaking or writing directly to your lender. To apply for a deferment, download the appropriate form here, complete and sign the form, and mail the form to your lender or the company that services your loan. (Do not mail the forms to TG that will only delay the process.) Remember that each deferment request must be approved before your payments will be postponed. Check with your lender or the company that services your loan for more information. You can also contact TG Customer Assistance by email.
A forbearance is a period of time during which your lender may reduce or suspend your regular loan payments, or lengthen your repayment period because you have a financial hardship (but do not qualify for a deferment). Unlike deferments, the federal government will not pay the interest that accrues on subsidized loans during a forbearance period.
A forbearance is usually granted at the lender's discretion. However, most lenders are willing to help you through tough times to prevent default. But it's your responsibility to contact the lender as soon as you realize you are experiencing financial hardship.