How And When To Defer Your Student Loan

A deferment gives you temporary relief from making your federal student loan payments and is one of the best solutions when you are struggling to make the payments on time. But when and how do you defer payments on your student loans?

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What is Deferment?

It is important to understand that a deferment does not absolve you from your loan responsibilities. It just releases you from making scheduled payments during the deferment period. This allows you to regroup and build up your finances in the interim. However, not all students are eligible for this facility.

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Deferment Eligibility

In most cases, you may be eligible to defer payment for your student loans if you are:

  • Enrolled in a medical internship or residency, a graduate fellowship program, or rehabilitation training
  • Working as a full-time teacher in an earmarked teacher-shortage area
  • Serving active military duty in the Armed Forces or National Guard
  • Volunteering full-time in the Peace Corps for a minimum period of one year
  • Serving full-time in public health services
  • Disabled or care for someone who is disabled

Each criterion has its own set of eligibility rules, guidelines, and time limits. It is important to find out all the details and read the fine print before you apply for student loan deferment.

Different lenders have different formalities and procedures in place for loan deferment. Set up a meeting with the lender to discuss your options and only then fill in the application form. Most lenders will approve your request if you meet their set eligibility criteria.

 

Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Earnest company logo.
Variable APR: 1.88% - 5.64%*
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 5.79%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT EARNEST
Lendkey company logo.
Variable APR: 1.90% - 5.25%*
Fixed APR: 2.49% - 7.75%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT LENDKEY
Credible company logo.
Variable APR: 1.80% - 9.99%*
Fixed APR: 2.15% - 9.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT CREDIBLE
Laurel road company logo.
Variable APR: 1.64% - 5.65%*
Fixed APR: 2.25% - 5.75%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT LAUREL ROAD
Commonbond company logo.
Variable APR: 1.96% - 7.02%*
Fixed APR: 2.59% - 6.94%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT COMMONBOND
Fixed APR: 2.44% - 5.97%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT ISL Education Lending
Variable APR: 1.87% – 5.41%**
Fixed APR: 2.30% – 5.94%**
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT Nelnet
Variable APR: 2.94% - 4.84%*
Fixed APR: 2.99% - 4.94%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT College Ave
Variable APR: 1.86% - 6.01%*
Fixed APR: 2.47% - 5.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT ELFi

*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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