If you think you might have a problem making your monthly loan payment on time, contact your Federal Loan servicer immediately to discuss other repayment plan options, eligibility for a deferment, or eligibility for forbearance.
A deferment allows you to temporarily postpone making loan payments if you meet certain requirements. You may receive a deferment while you are:
- Enrolled at least half-time at an eligible postsecondary school;
- In a full-time course of study in a graduate fellowship program;
- In an approved full-time rehabilitation program for individuals with disabilities;
- Unemployed (for a maximum of three years; you must be diligently seeking, but unable to find, full-time employment);
- Experiencing an economic hardship (including Peace Corps service), as determined under the laws and regulations that govern the Direct Loan Program (for a maximum of three years); or
- Serving on active duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency or performing qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency and, if you were serving on or after October 1, 2007, for the 180-day period following the demobilization date for your qualifying service.
If you are a member of the National Guard or other reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces (current or retired) and you are called or ordered to active duty while you are enrolled at least half time at an eligible school or within six months of having been enrolled at least half time, you are eligible for a deferment during the 13 months following the conclusion of your active duty service, or until you return to enrolled student status on at least a half-time basis, whichever is earlier.
You may be eligible to receive additional deferments if, at the time you received your first Direct Loan, you had an outstanding balance on a loan made under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program before July 1, 1993. Contact your Federal Loan servicer for more information.
Except for a deferment based on your at least half-time enrollment at an eligible postsecondary school, you must submit a deferment request form to your Federal Loan servicer. In most cases, you must also provide documentation of your eligibility for the deferment.
You may receive a deferment based on your at least half-time enrollment at an eligible school without submitting a deferment request if your Federal Loan servicer receives information from the school you are attending that confirms your enrollment status. If your Federal Loan servicer grants a deferment based on information received from your school, you will be notified of the deferment and will have the option of cancelling the deferment and continuing to make payments on your loans.
Interest is charged on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during deferment periods. You may pay interest as it accrues, or allow it to be capitalized at the end of the deferment period.