Deferment

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If you're eligible, a deferment can put your federal student loan payment on hold temporarily

There are many types of deferment, each with its own eligibility requirements. Contact your loan servicer(s) to discuss your deferment options.

Unemployment Deferment

If you are currently unemployed or underemployed, you may qualify for an Unemployment Deferment. Any of the following conditions may help you qualify:

  • Complete unemployment
  • Temporary employment that does not last more than 90 consecutive days

You must be actively seeking employment when you apply to qualify, and you must reapply every six months. The length of an Unemployment Deferment depends on the loan program (FFEL or Direct) and when your loan was made.

For FFELP borrowers

  • If your first loan was made before July 1, 1993, the maximum cumulative is 24 months.
  • If you did not have an outstanding balance on a FFELP loan that was first disbursed before July 1, 1993 when you obtained a FFELP loan on or after July 1, 1993, the maximum cumulative is 36 months.

For Direct Loan borrowers the maximum cumulative is 36 months.

To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help completing the Unemployment Deferment Request.

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Economic Hardship Deferment

If you are experiencing economic hardship, you may qualify for this deferment. There is a 36-month limitation on Economic Hardship Deferments, and you must reapply every 12 months.

To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help completing the Economic Hardship Deferment Request.

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In-School Deferment

You can defer your loan(s) if you are enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school. Your school must provide verification of enrollment to your loan servicer(s). An In-School Deferment may be automatically granted based on enrollment data from the school, but you should confirm that with your loan servicer(s) first.

There is no time limit for In-School Deferments for eligible students. To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help completing the In-School Deferment Request.

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Graduate Fellowship Deferment

To qualify for an Graduate Fellowship Deferment, the following conditions must be met.

  • You have a bachelor's degree
  • You have been accepted or recommended by an institution of higher education for acceptance into a graduate fellowship program on a full-time basis
  • Your graduate fellowship program provides sufficient financial support to allow for full-time study for a period of at least six months
  • Your graduate fellowship program requires, before the awarding of financial support, a written statement from you that explains your objectives
  • Your graduate fellowship program requires you to submit periodic reports, projects, or other evidence of your progress
  • Your graduate fellowship program accepts the course of study from the foreign university toward completion of the fellowship program

To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help completing the Graduate Fellowship Deferment Request.

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Rehabilitation Training Deferment

To qualify for an Rehabilitation Training Deferment, the following conditions must be met.

  • Your program is licensed, approved, certified, or recognized as providing rehabilitation training to disabled individuals
  • Your training program provides services under a written, individualized plan that specifies the date the services are expected to end
  • Your program requires a substantial commitment by you to your rehabilitation
  • You are receiving or scheduled to receive vocational, drug abuse, mental health, or alcohol abuse rehabilitation services in your program

To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help completing the Rehabilitation Training Program Deferment Request.

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Military Service Deferment

This deferment is available if you are serving on active duty in the U.S. Military or National Guard, during a war or other military operation, or during a national emergency. There is no time limit for military service deferments.

To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help completing the Military Service Deferment Request.

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Post–Active Duty Student Deferment

If you are enrolled in school and are called to active duty as a member of the National Guard or other reserve component of the U.S. Military, you may qualify for this deferment.

  • This deferment provides a 13-month deferment following the conclusion of active duty military service.
  • It is open to any member (current or retired) of any reserve component of the U.S. Military.
  • You must have been enrolled in an eligible school within six months prior to or at the time you were called to active duty.
  • You must have been enrolled at least half-time to qualify.

To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help completing the Post-Active Duty Student Deferment Request.

If you return to school on at least a half-time basis while you are on a Post–Active Duty Student Deferment, the deferment ends. However, you would then qualify for an In-School Deferment, as described above.

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Temporary Disability Deferment

If you, your spouse or your dependent is temporarily totally disabled, you may be eligible for this deferment. To qualify, you must:

  • Have at least one outstanding FFELP loan made before July 1, 1993;
  • Provide certification—from a physician—that you, your spouse or your dependent is temporarily totally disabled.

Temporary Disability Deferments are granted in six-month increments for up to 36 months. To continue the deferment, you must request the deferment and a physician must re-certify your condition, or that of your spouse or your dependent, every six months.

To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help completing the Temporary Total Disability Deferment Request.

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