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Deferment, Forbearance and Student Loan Forgiveness

Having a tough time with student loan debt? You might be able to temporarily delay repayment on your Federal student loans with deferment or forbearance.

Deferment pauses repayment of the loan principal and the government may actually pay for the interest, while forbearance only pauses repayment of the principal.

Here are a few ways to qualify for deferment or forbearance:

  • Unemployment
  • If you are facing a major economic hardship
  • Or suffer from a significant illness 

A deferment or forbearance can also be granted to those with an upcoming service or learning opportunity, such as:

  • Participating in National Service
  • Attending a medical residency
  • Active Duty Military Service
  • Or if you are enrolled in college or career school

Borrowers in this category should also be aware of the Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness program. This repayment program forgives Federal student loan debt after 120 consecutive, on-time payments, for borrowers working full-time for qualified public service employers.

Both deferment and forbearance will require some sort of application process with your lender. Student loan consolidation might be another option if you do not qualify for deferment or forbearance and need help with repayment.

If you are struggling with student loan debt repayment options, ACCC can help sort out the confusion.

Visit to learn more student loan repayment options.





American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit organization that provides advice and help with debt problems for consumers who want to know "How do I pay off debt?" Through free credit counseling and low-cost debt management services, ACCC counselors can provide information about debt relief loans, debt reduction strategies and how to consolidate credit cards most effectively. In response to questions like "What are my credit card debt options?", ACCC counselors can provide information on the pros and cons of credit card debt forgiveness, debt consolidation for credit cards and the credit card settlement process. Consumers can also get answers to like "What is a debt management program?" and "Where can I get a debt consolidation loan?"

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