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What You Need to Know About Qualifying for Student Loan Deferments

Published: March 11, 2019

While it’s important to consistently make your student loan payments, special circumstances may come up that make it temporarily difficult to do so. That’s when you may need to research loan deferment.

Here’s what you need to know about qualifying for student loan deferments:


If You’re Currently Enrolled, Your Loans Should Already Be in Deferment


This can be a big relief, especially if you are working less to make more time for school. If you are enrolled in an eligible college or career school at least half-time, your loan should be placed into a deferment automatically. Your loan servicer—the company that you communicate with for billing and managing your loan—should notify you about this. If you haven’t been told that the loan is in deferment, contact your school’s financial aid department. They can send the necessary information to your loan servicers to defer you loan.


Do you Qualify for Loan Deferment?

There are several circumstances where you’d qualify for deferment status. You may be eligible if:

  • You are unemployed, or employed for less than 30 hours a week and looking for full-time work
  • You are receiving federal/state public assistance or fall below the required poverty guideline to make payments
  • You are on active duty military service
  • You are enrolled in a rehabilitation training program for the disabled
  • You are in the Peace Corps

The 2019 Department of Education Appropriations Act also allows you to have your federal student loans placed in a deferment while you undergo cancer treatment. Because this is so new, the Department of Education is still determining what conditions are required to receive a deferment. In the meantime, if you think this may affect you, you should contact your loan servicer.

You can find more information about how to apply for loan deferment and the various circumstances under which you might qualify if you visit the Department of Education’s student aid website.


Provide Documentation to Verify Your Eligibility

As part of your application for a loan deferment, you will need to provide the loan servicer with documentation that shows you meet the requirements for the deferment. For economic hardship deferment you must provide documentation of income or copy of public assistance statement. Approval of your deferment request will depend on your individual circumstance.


Make Payments Until Your Deferment Is Approved

If you meet the qualifications for a loan deferment, you can’t be turned down. However, you do need to wait for your loan servicer to determine that you qualify before you can stop making payments. If you stop making payments and your deferment isn’t approved, your loan will be delinquent and you could default—and there are several reasons you don't want to default on your student loans.


Do you want to get your education at a school that cares about your future and will help guide you toward career and financial success? Contact Charter College today to learn about our programs in business, healthcare, trades, and information technology.