Obtaining a Forebearance for a Student Loan

Sometimes, for one reason or another making payments on your student loan is just not possible, or at the very least, it's difficult. This can happen due to unemployment, or you are simply not making enough money to keep up with the payments.

What to Do

If you are unemployed, still looking for a job, or even working but simply cannot afford the payments for your student loan, the first thing that you should do is to seek a forbearance with the lender.

Forbearance will allow you to postpone making payments for a set period of time, usually a time frame that is set by the lender. The purpose is to allow you to work towards getting yourself into a position in which you are able to handle the payments.

Step 1 - Contact the Lender

Contact your lender by either giving them a call or checking their website for the necessary forms. In many cases, these forms will be available for you to print out, complete and submit. If you give them a call, the forbearance may be able to be taken care of much more quickly than simply submitting some forms. Even if you are able to get it taken care of on the phone, there will still be paperwork involved.

Step 2 - Gather the Necessary Documents

The primary reason any lender will ever grant the forbearance on your student loan is because of your income. You will be required to submit your pay stubs, as well as any other documents they require. If you are not able to prove that your income is inadequate for you to financially manage the payments, they will not grant the forbearance.

Complete the necessary forms, and mail them along with the other required documents to the lender. Some lenders will allow you to fax the documents, while others want the "hard" copy with your signature on it. Ask your lender if you can fax the documents. It may save you some valuable time.

NOTE: Be sure to make copies of everything you send! There's nothing worse than trying to prove a point without the proof!

Be Proactive

The important thing when it comes to your student loan is that you be proactive. You don't want until the last possible minute before contacting your lender, and certainly don't wait until you receive a notice of default!

Most lenders are perfectly willing to work with you if you need the forbearance. In many cases, even if you don't qualify for the forbearance they will still grant at least a partial one to help you out. You need to plan ahead. You know your financial situation and your lender doesn't. They can't help you if they don't know that you need it.

When it comes time to start making your payments again, if you still aren't able to make the payments, then you will need to apply for forbearance again.

It's important that you understand that the interest that would have been payable had you made your payments as schedule will likely be capitalized and added into the loan when you begin making your payments again.

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