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What is student loan deferment?

A deferment is a temporary pause to your student loan payments for specific situations such as active duty military service and reenrollment in school. You can receive a federal loan deferment for a certain defined period. The U.S. Department of Education has published a list of reasons that qualify you for a deferment .

You don’t have to pay interest on the loan during deferment if you have a subsidized loan. If you have an unsubsidized loan, you’re still responsible for the interest during deferment. If you don’t pay the interest as it accumulates, it will be added to your loan balance, which will increase the overall amount you have to pay. You can apply for a deferment with your loan servicer, and you must continue to make payments until you’ve been notified that your deferment was granted.

Private student loans may or may not have a deferment option, and the rules vary among lenders. Contact your loan servicer as early as possible if you want to explore this option. Forbearance may also be an option if you’re unable to pay your federal student loans. In forbearance, interest will continue to accrue on your loan balance.

Find more advice about how to pay your student loans.