What is 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 deferment on Federal student loans for certain defined periods. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has published a list of the reasons qualifying 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 responsible for the interest during deferment. If you don’t pay the interest as it accumulates, it will be added to your loan balance, and the amount you have to pay in the future will be higher. You have to apply for a deferment with your loan servicer, and you must continue to make payments until you’ve been notified your deferment has been 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.

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