Federal Loan Deferment Options
Stafford loan deferment is a temporary postponement of student loan payments. During periods of loan deferment, you are not required to make any principal or interest payments.
For subsidized loans, interest does not accrue during deferment periods. For unsubsidized loans, interest does accrue and capitalizes once repayment resumes.
Conditions for Deferment
Student loan deferment is available for a variety of reasons, such as:
- You're attending school at least half-time
- You're studying in an approved graduate fellowship or rehabilitation program for the disabled
- You're facing economic hardship (up to three years)
- You're unemployed (up to three years)
- You're serving in the Military
- You're serving in a qualifying volunteer program
How to Apply
To apply for Stafford Loan deferment, download a deferment request form and return to your loan servicer (the organization to whom you send payments). If you're not sure who your loan servicer is, you can log in to NSLDS.ed.gov and find all of the necessary contact information in that account.
If you are currently in school, you can also contact your school's financial aid office to request a deferment while you are enrolled.
For more information on deferring student loans, visit StudentAid.ed.gov.
Other Payment Relief Options
If you are struggling to make monthly payments or simply want to lower your payments, there are options besides deferring your student loans, including:
If you do not qualify for a loan deferment, you can forbear your student loans for up to three years instead. Forbearance is another way to temporarily postpone or reduce payments for a set period of time. You should contact your loan servicer for more information about forbearing your Stafford Loan.