4 Requirements for Student Loan Forbearance

Student loan forbearance is an arrangement to postpone or reduce your student loan monthly payments for a specific period of time. It is often a go-to option for those who can't qualify for any type of student loan deferment. Unlike student loan deferment, where you are only charged interest if your student loan is unsubsidized, the interest is charged automatically regardless of what type of student loan you have. There are several types of student loan forbearance for both federal and private loans, and each type comes with it's own rules and requirements.

Federal Student Loan Forbearance

This covers all student loans issued by federal government, including Stafford loans, PLUS loans, Perkins loans and consolidated federal loans. In order to qualify for student loan forbearance, you must demonstrate that there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from being able to make your monthly payments as agreed to. You must submit an application to the U.S. Department of Education, which reserves a right to either approve it or deny it. You must keep repaying your loan in full until Department of Education reaches its decision. There are several different types of federal student loan forbearance you can apply for, they include:

  • General Forbearance - the most basic type of federal student loan forbearance, it requires you to prove that you are facing financial hardship. You can either temporarily stop making payments or make smaller monthly payments for a maximum of 12 months. You must reapply after the period ends, and you can keep doing it until the loan is fully repaid.
  • AmeriCorps (CNCS) Forbearance - in order to be eligible for this type of forbearance, you must agree to take part in one of Corporation for National Community Service programs. This includes AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America and USA Freedom Corps. You must apply for one of those programs and be accepted. Once that happens, you can send a request form to CNCS so that it will send Department of Education a confirmation of your participation. You will not have to make payments for the duration of the forbearance. This forbearance can be used for no more than three years from the time of application.
  • Internship/Residence Forbearance - in order to qualify for this type of forbearance, you must be been accepted into an internship or residency supervised training program. This program leads to a post-graduate degree or certificate from an institution of higher education, a hospital, or other type of health care facility. Alternatively, it must require you to be certified for a professional practice or service. You must re-apply every twelve months. When you apply, you must get your supervising official from the program to complete and fill out the appropriate section of the application. If the program is a certification requirement for a professional practice or service, you must also get a separate statement from your state licensing agency that verifies that this is indeed the case.
  • Loan Debt Burden Forbearance - this program is designed for borrowers who are suffering from significant debt. In order to qualify for this loan, you must show that your current monthly payments are no less then 20 percent of your current monthly income.

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