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Repayment Information

Having Difficulty with Repayment

If you have difficulty making payments on your student loan, contact your loan servicer as soon as possible. There are options that may help you make your payments and/or resolve your delinquency. If you received your loans before July 1, 2010, and your loans are guaranteed by KHEAA, you can also call our Default Aversion section for assistance at 1.800.928.5327 or e-mail us at

Your options mentioned may include alternative repayment plans, loan consolidation, deferment or forbearance.

Alternative repayment plans include:

  • Graduated Repayment – monthly payments that gradually increase during your repayment period.
  • Income–Sensitive Repayment – monthly payments based on the amount of money you earn
  • Extended Repayment – available if you owe more than $30,000 in federal student loans and none of the loans were made before October 7, 1998. You can take up to 25 years to repay the loans in fixed annual or graduated amounts.

You can change your repayment plan once a year.

Loan consolidation is an option if you are having trouble making your payments. You might be able to consolidate all of your student loans into one loan with a lower payment amount.

A deferment or forbearance may be available, letting you postpone or reduce your payments for a period of time. It's important that you continue to make payments on your loan until you're notified by your loan servicer that your deferment or forbearance has been approved.

What's the difference between a deferment and a forbearance?

Interest – You're responsible for the interest that accrues during forbearance. During a deferment, you're responsible for the interest that accrues on Unsubsidized Stafford Loans. If you have Subsidized Stafford Loans, you aren't responsible for the interest that accrues during a deferment. You can pay the interest during a forbearance or deferment, definitely the cheaper route in the long run, or your loan servicer may capitalize the interest at the end of your deferment or forbearance. When interest is capitalized, it will increase the amount of interest you have to pay.

Discretionary versus Entitlement – This is a complicated way of saying that a loan servicer does not have to let you have a forbearance. It is the loan servicer's discretion whether to grant you one or not. Deferments, on the other hand, are entitlements. The loan servicer must grant you a deferment if you meet the criteria. Your loan servicer will help you determine if you meet the criteria for each type of deferment.