Repayment of Federal Direct Stafford Loans

Postponing Repayment

If you have trouble making your educational loan payments, immediately contact your loan servicer. A loan advisor can help you determine what solutions are available to assist you if you are experiencing difficulty in making payments, including other repayment plans, deferments, or forbearances.

You have to apply for deferment or forbearance with your loan servicer. You must continue to make payments until you’ve been notified your deferment or forbearance has been granted. Otherwise, you could become delinquent or go into default.

Option Terms Option in Action

At least half-time study at postsecondary school or study in an approved graduate fellowship or training program for disabled.

Unable to find full-time employment/economic hardship for up to 3 years.
  • If transferring to another institution, or returning to college, you will need to fill out In-School Deferment forms to postpone payment.

  • Temporary suspension of loan payments for specific situations such as enrollment in school, unemployment, or economic hardship.

  • You don’t have to pay interest on the loan during deferment if you have subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan or FFEL, Federal Direct Stafford loan or Federal Perkins loan. 

  • If you have unsubsidized Federal Direct or FFEL Stafford loan, you’re responsible for the interest during deferment. 
Military Service Deferment While on active duty during a war, national emergency, and if serving on or after October 1, 2007, for an additional 180-day period following the demobilization date for qualifying service.
  • An active duty military deferment is available to borrowers in the Federal Direct Stafford Loan, FFEL, and Perkins loan programs who are called to active duty during a war, other military operation, or national emergency.
Post-Active Duty Student Deferment Enrolled or within six months of having been enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school – during the 13 months following the conclusion of active duty, or until return to enrolled status on at least half-time basis, whichever is earlier.
  • A Federal Direct Stafford Loan, FFEL, or Perkins loan borrower who is a member of the National Guard or other reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces (current or retired) and is called or ordered to active duty.
Forbearance In intervals of up to 12 months at a time for up to 3 years. 
  • Temporary postponement or reduction of payment for a period of time because you are experiencing financial difficulty. 

  • You can receive if you are not eligible for deferment.

  • Interest accrues on subsidized and unsubsidized loans and you’re responsible for repaying it.


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