Can I Defer My Student Loans?

Is it possible to defer your student loans?

Pexels user Konstantin Olsen

When you take a student loan, you will be given a loan repayment schedule that states how and when you will have to pay back the loan and interest. Most lenders do include a grace period after graduation to give you some time to get a job and get on your feet before you have to start making payments.

If all goes according to plan, you should be able to get that job and keep to the payment schedule. But in life, things don’t always go to plan. When the time comes, if you find that you are unable to make payments on your loan, you may be able to postpone making payments temporarily. This is known as deferment.

You can defer your student loans under the following circumstances:

  • You are employed in a teacher in a teacher-shortage area
  • You are participating in some type of rehabilitation training
  • You are enrolled in a graduate fellowship program, a residency, or an internship
  • You have not found appropriate employment or you are working less than 30 hours a week

In most cases, you will be able to defer your student loans for up to three years. During this period you do not need to pay anything on your loan. During the deferment period, additional interest does not accrue on subsidized loans but it will accrue on unsubsidized loans.

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Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Earnest company logo.
Variable APR: 1.74% - 5.64%*
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 5.79%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
Variable APR: 1.90% - 5.25%*
Fixed APR: 2.49% - 7.75%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
Credible company logo.
Variable APR: 1.80% - 9.99%*
Fixed APR: 2.15% - 9.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Laurel road company logo.
Variable APR: 1.89% - 5.90%*
Fixed APR: 2.50% - 6.00%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Commonbond company logo.
Variable APR: 1.98% - 7.04%*
Fixed APR: 2.59% - 6.94%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 6.22%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT ISL Education Lending
Variable APR: 1.87% – 6.52%**
Fixed APR: 2.30% – 5.96%**
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT Nelnet
Variable APR: 2.94% - 4.79%*
Fixed APR: 2.99% - 4.89%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT College Ave
Variable APR: 1.86% - 6.01%*
Fixed APR: 2.47% - 5.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate, Parent PLUS

*APR includes a 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrollment in automatic payments.

**Interest rate reduction of .25% for automatically withdrawn payments from any designated bank account (“auto debit discount”). Auto debit discount applies when full payments (including both principal and interest) are automatically drafted from a bank account. The auto debit discount will continue to apply during periods of approved forbearance or deferment if the auto debit discount was in effect at the time of receiving the forbearance or deferment. Auto debit discount will remain on the account unless (1) the automatic deduction of payments is canceled or (2) there are three consecutive automatic deductions returned for insufficient funds at any time during the term of the loan.

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