• Forbearance is a way to temporarily lower or postpone your federal student loan payments.
  • Your loan holder may grant forbearance if you are willing but temporarily unable to make full or partial payments and do not qualify for a deferment (the preferred option).
  • During forbearance, interest continues to accrue on all loan types.
    • You may pay the interest, saving you money over the life of the loan.
    • If you do not pay the interest, your loan holder will add it to your principal balance when your forbearance ends. This increases your total debt.
  • Most forbearances are discretionary - it is completely up to your loan holder to grant one.
  • Under certain provisions, loan holders are required to grant a mandatory forbearance.
  • Forbearance is granted for a limited duration.

Applying for forbearance

Contact your loan holder to request forbearance.

  • Keep a copy of your forbearance application if you're required to submit one.
  • Do not stop making payments until you have official notification that your request for forbearance is approved.

Most loan holders are willing to help you through tough times, as long as you notify them early, while you're still making payments, and before you default on your loan.