Texas Tech University

Deferment & Forbearance

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

  • A forbearance depending on your eligibility may bring your past due balance current with no out of pocket expense.
  • Postponement is not automatic; borrowers must submit a completed application to each of their servicers.
  • The servicer will determine eligibility and notify the borrower once the request has been processed.
  • The borrower is responsible to continue making regular monthly payments until the request has been processed.
  • The borrower can continue making interest payments during periods of forbearance.
  • The borrower must keep track of the deferment/forbearance end-date and be prepared for repayment to resume.

How do I Request a Deferment?

Federal Direct or PLUS Loans: Your loan servicer will provide details and forms needed to complete the application process. Borrowers can identify their loan servicer by looking up their loan details on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

Federal Perkins: The Texas Tech University Financial Aid Office will handle your requests. Please contact the Texas Tech Default Aversion Manager.

Two Types of Forbearance

Discretionary 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
  • Illness

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:

  • You are serving in a medical or dental internship or residency program, and you meet specific requirements.
  • The total amount you owe each month for all the student loans you received is 20 percent or more of your total monthly gross income (additional conditions apply).
  • You are serving in a national service position for which you received a national service award.
  • You are performing teaching service that would qualify for teacher loan forgiveness.
  • You qualify for partial repayment of your loans under the U.S. Department of Defense Student Loan Repayment Program.
  • You are a member of the National Guard and have been activated by a governor, but you are not eligible for a military deferment.

How do I request forbearance?

Receiving loan forbearance is not automatic.

You must apply by making a request to your loan servicer. In some cases, you must provide documentation to support your request.


What is the difference between deferment and forbearance?

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.

Do I have options besides deferment or forbearance?

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

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