If you're not eligible for a deferment and you're having trouble repaying your loan, you should ask your loan holder about a forbearance. A forbearance can postpone your payments, extend the time allowed for making payments or allow you to temporarily make smaller payments. A forbearance is granted at the discretion of your loan holder and may require a written agreement. To qualify for a forbearance, you must be willing but financially unable to make the required payments on you loan.
Some examples of reasons your lender/servicer might grant a forbearance include:
- You're experiencing a financial hardship.
- Your monthly student loan payments are greater than 20% of your total monthly income.
- You're studying in a medical or dental internship or residency.
- Your community is determined to be a state or federal disaster area.
- You're affected by a national military mobilization such as Operation Enduring Freedom.
Contact your loan holder to request a forbearance. But remember to keep making payments on your loan until you're notified by your loan holder that your forbearance has been approved.