Texas Tech University

Student Loan Information

Postponing Loan Repayment


Deferment: A deferment is a period of time during which no payments are required and interest does not accrue, unless you have an unsubsidized loan. In that case, you must pay the interest. To qualify for a deferment, you must meet specific eligibility requirements.

Forbearance: If you are not eligible for a deferment, but are temporarily unable to meet your repayment schedule, you may be eligible for a forbearance. Forbearance occurs when your servicer agrees to either temporarily reduce or postpone your student loan payments. Interest continues to accrue on your subsidized and unsubsidized loans (including all PLUS loans).

Things To Know

Deferment Forbearance
Typically longer-term relief Typically shorter-term relief
Interst suspended on subsidized loans/ accrues on unsubsidized loans Interest accrues on all loans (loan balance will increase if you're not making payments)
More strict More flexible
Popular with students returning to school Popular with borrowers encountering short-term difficulties


Deferments have to be requested and they are granted when you meet the necessary requirements. Deferments can be granted for:

  • Cancer treatment
  • Economic Hardship
  • Graduate Fellowship
  • In-School Deferment
  • Military Service
  • Parent PLUS Borrower Deferment
  • Rehabilitation Training
  • Unemployment

Federal Direct or PLUS Loans: Your loan servicer will provide details and forms needed to complete the application process. Don't know your servicer? Log into your Federal Student Aid Dashboard, scroll down on your dashboard to find My Loan Servicers or call 1-800-433-3243.

General Forbearances

For discretionary forbearances, your lender decides whether to grant forbearance or not.

You can request a discretionary forbearance for the following reasons:

  • Financial hardship
  • Medical expenses
  • Change in employment
  • Other reasons acceptable to your loan servicer
Mandatory Forbearances

For mandatory forbearances, if you meet the eligibility criteria for the forbearance, your lender is required to grant the forbearance.

You can request a mandatory forbearance for the following reasons:

  • AmeriCorps Service
  • Department of Defense Student Loan Repayment Program participation
  • Medical or Dental Internship or Residency
  • National Guard Duty
  • Student Loan Debt Burden
  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Make a request to your loan servicer. In some cases, you must provide documentation to support your request.

Deferment allows you to temporarily postpone payments when you meet specific eligibility criteria. Common types of deferment include in-school, unemployment, economic hardship, or residency. Interest does not accrue during deferment.

Forbearance allows you to temporarily reduce your monthly payment to interest-only payments. Interest continues to accrue and can be paid each month. There is a maximum of 36 months forbearance available.

Always contact your loan servicer immediately if you are having trouble making your student loan payment. If you don't qualify for deferment or forbearance, you may be able to change your repayment plan. There may be a repayment plan that offers lower payments than you're currently making.

Tips & Resources

Lower your federal loan payment

Defaulted loan options, loan repayment, rehabilitation and consolidation