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Forbearance is another tool that can help you get through a period of financial difficulty. During forbearance, a lender temporarily reduces, extends or postpones regular loan payments. This alternative is usually reserved for individuals who are not eligible for a deferment.

In some cases, a lender is required to grant mandatory forbearance. For example:

  • When medical or dental interns enroll in an internship program or have exhausted all of their deferment eligibility
  • If the borrower is serving in a national service position under the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993
  • If the borrower is eligible for loan forgiveness
  • If annual debt burden for FFELP loans equals or exceeds 20 percent of a borrower's disposable income

When considering forbearance, borrowers should keep in mind that forbearance eligibility varies for each loan. Review the Loans at a Glance FAQ sheet to see details regarding forbearance eligibility for your loan.

Loans Eligible for Forbearance