Pros and Cons of Student Loan Forbearance

Forbearance on your student loans occurs when you lower or stop your loan payments for a certain period of time. It is different from deferment of your student loan because your interest keeps accruing during forbearance, whereas with deferment your interest stops accruing. While it might seem like an easy solution if you’re having trouble paying back your loans, you should look into the pros and cons before making your final decision.

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Pros of Forbearance 

If you’ve had a sudden, temporary setback, forbearance can be a way to help you get back on your feet financially. Even if you are just having trouble finding work or saving money, forbearance can give you a little more time to get settled and figure your finances out. If you are considering defaulting on a student loan, look into forbearance first. Defaulting can affect your credit score, whereas forbearance could prevent that from happening. However, forbearance shouldn’t be a long-term plan; consider forbearance first if you only need a bit more time to get your finances and payments together.

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Cons of Forbearance 

The major con is that you still accrue interest while in forbearance. This means that your total amount owed will increase. Depending on your loan provider, you may even have to pay an up-front fee to apply for forbearance. This, coupled with continuing to accrue interest, means that you’ll owe more overall. Lastly, consider how much time you will need to get settled and ready to start making the monthly payments. Most loan lenders allow forbearance for up to a year, so you’ll want to plan accordingly and create a budget that you have to stick to.

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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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