Deferring Student Loans: Deferment Procedure
How do I defer my student loans? Understand the process of deferring student loans. This article provides instructions on how to request a deferment for your loans.
How do I defer my student loans?
To defer your student loans, you typically need to follow a specific procedure based on the type of loans you have. Deferment is a temporary suspension of your loan payments, and it's important to understand the eligibility criteria and the documentation required. Here are general steps for deferring federal student loans:
Federal Student Loans:
Understand Deferment Eligibility:
- Determine if you qualify for deferment based on specific criteria such as economic hardship, unemployment, military service, enrollment in an eligible education program, or other qualifying circumstances.
Contact Your Loan Servicer:
- Reach out to your loan servicer. You can find information about your loan servicer on the Federal Student Aid website or by checking your loan documents.
Request a Deferment Form:
- Request a deferment form from your loan servicer. You can often find the form on the loan servicer's website or request a paper copy.
Complete the Deferment Form:
- Fill out the deferment form completely and accurately. Provide any necessary supporting documentation to demonstrate your eligibility. For example, if you're unemployed, you may need to provide proof of unemployment.
Submit the Form to Your Loan Servicer:
- Submit the completed deferment form along with any required documentation to your loan servicer. Be sure to keep a copy of the form and any supporting documents for your records.
Continue Payments Until Approval:
- Continue making payments on your student loans until you receive notification that your deferment request has been approved. If you stop making payments before approval, you may risk late fees and negative credit reporting.
Private Student Loans:
Review Loan Agreement:
- Review the terms and conditions of your private student loan agreement. Private lenders may have different eligibility criteria and processes compared to federal loans.
Contact Your Lender:
- Contact your private loan lender to inquire about deferment options. Ask about the specific procedures for obtaining deferment and provide information about your circumstances.
Request Deferment Information:
- Ask your lender for any necessary forms or documentation required for deferment. Private lenders may have their own set of forms and eligibility criteria.
Complete and Submit Forms:
- Complete the deferment forms provided by your private lender. Include any required supporting documentation. Submit the completed forms to your lender.
- Confirm with your lender that your deferment request has been approved. Be aware of any changes in your loan status and continue making payments until you receive confirmation of approval.
Always read the terms and conditions of your loan agreement carefully and communicate with your loan servicer or lender for personalized guidance. Keep in mind that deferment is a temporary solution, and interest may continue to accrue on certain types of loans during the deferment period.
What steps are involved in requesting a deferment for student loans?
Requesting a deferment for your student loans can seem daunting, but breaking it down into steps can make it feel more manageable. Here's a general guide to help you navigate the process:
- Identify your loan servicer: This is the company that handles your loan payments and processes deferment requests. You can find this information on your loan statements or on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website: https://nsldsfap.ed.gov/.
- Determine your eligibility: Different loan types and deferment reasons have specific eligibility requirements. Check your loan servicer's website or the Federal Student Aid website for a comprehensive list: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/lower-payments/get-temporary-relief/deferment.
- Gather your documents: Depending on your deferment reason, you might need documents like pay stubs, tax returns, medical records, or enrollment verification. Make sure you have them easily accessible.
Choose your application method: Most servicers offer online, phone, and mail options. Check their website or loan documents for their preferred method.
Complete the application: Some servicers have their own forms, while others may accept a general deferment request letter outlining your reason and desired deferment period. Be sure to include all requested information and attach your supporting documents.
Submit your application: Follow your servicer's instructions to submit your completed application and documents. Keep a copy of everything for your records.
Wait for a response: Your servicer will review your application and let you know their decision. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Check your loan status: Monitor your loan accounts to see if your deferment has been approved. You can usually do this online or by contacting your servicer.
Be proactive: If you haven't received a response within 30 days or have any questions, don't hesitate to contact your servicer directly.
- Apply early: Don't wait until the last minute to submit your application. Aim to apply well before your grace period ends to avoid accruing interest.
- State your case clearly: Explain your reason for seeking deferment concisely and accurately in your application or letter.
- Explore alternatives: If you don't qualify for deferment, consider other options like forbearance, income-driven repayment plans, or loan consolidation.
Remember, requesting a deferment is a temporary solution. It's important to address the underlying financial challenges causing you to seek deferment and develop a sustainable plan for managing your student loans in the long term.
By following these steps and staying organized, you can navigate the student loan deferment process and obtain the temporary relief you need. Don't hesitate to reach out to your servicer or other resources for help if you need it.