Decoding Student Loan Deferment

Your student loan deferment options are going to depend on what type of student loan you have, and when you received the student loan. Federal student loan deferment options can be different within the federal student loan family, and private student loan deferment options can be different from federal student loan deferment options. Generally, you can defer your student loans for the following (assuming you have not defaulted on your student loans):

1. You are in school, at least half time
2. You are unemployed
3. You are experiencing an economic hardship
4. You are called to active duty / military deferment
5. Some types of volunteer service / full time law enforcement service (Perkins loans only)

Unemployment Loan Deferment
In todays economy, many recent college grads are having trouble finding work, and established college grads are becoming laid off… thus, leaving little way to make those monthly student loan payments. If you can provide proof of eligibility to receive unemployment benefits, show that you are conscientiously searching for full-time employment, and/or confirm that you are seeking but unable to find full-time employment, you may qualify for Unemployment Loan Deferment. You must contact your student loan lender for specific requirements and application.

Economic Hardship Loan Deferment
Economic Hardship Deferment is granted one year at a time for a maximum of three years. Typically eligibility requirements are as follows: You have previous qualification for economic hardship deferment under another federal loan program, you have receipt of federal or state public assistance benefits, or you qualify if you are serving as a Peace Corps volunteer. You must contact your student loan lender for specific requirements and application.

Military Service Loan Deferment
For Military Service Loan Deferment there is not limit to deferment length, and deferment is available in all 3 federal loan programs (FFEL, Direct and Perkins). This type of deferment is available to military service members on active duty during a war, other military operation or national emergency, members of the National Guard called to active duty during a war, military operation or national emergency and reserve or retired members of the Armed Forces called to active duty during a war, military operation or national emergency. You must contact your student loan lender for specific requirements and application.

To find out what the deferment options are for your types of student loan, you must contact your student loan lender. Before you consider deferment, learn how this will effect your student loan principal (will accrued interest be capitalized).

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