What Is Economic Hardship Deferment?

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Flickr user J J

Economic Hardship Deferment is a student loan borrower protection. It allows borrowers to temporarily defer payments toward their loans. If the borrower has a subsidized loan, it will not accrue interest throughout the deferment period. Deferment periods are taken in one-year increments, up to three years total. This deferment plan is only eligible to people who have taken out federal loans, and only certain loans at that.

Qualifying Loans Include:

  • National Direct Loans
  • Family Education Loans
  • Stafford Loans
  • Perkins Loans
  • Supplemental Loans
  • PLUS Loans
  • Consolidation Loans
  • and National Defense Loans.
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Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible, borrowers must be employed full-time. From there, borrowers must fall into one of four categories: been granted economic hardship deferment on another federal student loan plan for the same period of time; having received payments from federal or state public assistance programs; are serving in the Peace Corps; are making less than 150% of the poverty guideline in income for your family size (specific to state of residence).

Economic hardship deferment is a way for borrowers to get their feet back under them. Borrowers who are still having difficulty after the first one-year increment may reapply for deferment, bearing in mind that they will be subject to the same rules as for the first application.  

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Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Sallie Mae logo.
2.62% - 12.97% Variable
3.75% - 13.72% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Credibe company logo.
1.29% - 12.99% Variable
3.15% - 14.75% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
Undergraduate and Graduate
Ascent company logo.
1.75% - 10.54% Variable
3.22% - 13.09% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
College Ave company logo.
1.29% - 12.99% Variable
3.22% - 13.95% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
1.66% - 6.21% Variable
2.94% - 7.15% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Earnest company logo.
2.09% - 11.69% Variable
3.47% - 13.03% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
1.86% - 11.52% Variable
3.20% - 11.99% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
College Raptor is not a loan lender and does not assume responsibility for suggesting a loan to a user who may not be eligible for it. Rates, terms, conditions, eligibility, approval, and other considerations are the decisions of the lenders and may vary depending on which lender or marketplace the user selects. We urge users to carefully consider and review all loan options and terms before committing to taking out a loan.

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