What is forbearance?

Forbearance is a temporary postponement or reduction of your student loan payments for a period of time because you are experiencing financial difficulty. You can receive forbearance if you’re not eligible for a deferment. With forbearance, you will eventually owe the new interest charges even if you’re not making payments. Unlike deferment, with forbearance interest accrues whether your loans are subsidized or unsubsidized, and you’re responsible for repaying it even while in forbearance. Your loan holder can grant forbearance in intervals of up to 12 months at a time for up to three years. You have to apply to your loan servicer for forbearance, and you must continue to make payments until you've been notified your forbearance has been granted.

These rules apply to federal student loans. Private student loan forbearance usually varies and is less extensive than the federal program. Contact your loan servicer as early as possible if you want to explore this option.

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