Forbearance is another option for temporarily postponing loan payments, if you do not meet the eligibility requirements for a deferment.
Your Federal Loan servicer may give you a forbearance if you are temporarily unable to make your loan payments for reasons including, but not limited to, financial hardship or illness.
In addition, your Federal Loan servicer will give you a forbearance if you meet one of the following requirements:
- 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 of the student loans you received under Title IV of the Higher Education Act is 20 percent or more of your total monthly gross income (for a maximum of three years);
- You are serving in a national service position for which you receive a national service award under the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. In some cases, the interest that accrues on a qualified loan during the service period will be paid by the Corporation for National and Community Service;
- You are performing service that would qualify you for loan forgiveness under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program that is available to certain Direct Loan and FFEL program borrowers;
- You qualify for partial repayment of your loans under the Student Loan Repayment Program, as administered by the Department of Defense; or
- You are called to active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Generally, you must request a forbearance and, in some cases, submit documentation of your eligibility for a forbearance. However, under certain circumstances you may be given a forbearance without requiring you to submit a request or documentation. These circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Periods necessary for us to determine your eligibility for a loan discharge;
- A period of up to 60 days in order for us to collect and process documentation related to your request for a deferment, forbearance, change in repayment plan, or consolidation loan (interest that is charged during this period is not capitalized); or
- Periods when you are involved in a military mobilization, or a local or national emergency.
Interest is charged on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during forbearance periods. You may pay the interest as it accrues, or allow it to be capitalized at the end of the forbearance period.
You MUST continue making payments on your student loan until you have been notified that your request for deferment or forbearance has been granted. If you do not continue making payments and your request is not approved, you will become delinquent and may default on your loan.