A deferment is a period of time during which you are not required to make payments. During the period of deferment, interest continues to accrue on the loan. If you have a Federal Subsidized Stafford loan, the government has been paying the interest for you; in case of deferment, the government will continue to pay it. For Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans you continue to be responsible for the interest during a deferment period.
You may qualify for a deferment if you meet any of the following conditions:
- Half-time study
- Economic hardship
- Graduate fellowship
- Rehabilitation training
Deferments are not automatic; you must apply for them. You must be fewer than 270 days delinquent, make your request in writing, provide the necessary documentation, and have a loan type that is eligible for deferments (Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Stafford, SLS, PLUS or Consolidation loan). There are numerous deferment options, depending on your loan type. Contact your lender for more information.