Deferment and Forbearance
If you want additional information on loan default, visit the Department's Debt Resolution website at https://myeddebt.ed.gov/.
COVID-19 Emergency Loan Relief
Due to the COVID-19 emergency, collections for eligible defaulted loans have paused until further notice.
The payment pause includes a suspension of loan payments, a 0% interest rate, and stopped collections on defaulted loans.
The following types of defaulted loans are eligible for COVID-19 emergency relief:
- Direct Loans
- Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans
- Federal Perkins Loans held by ED
- HEAL loans
During the 0% interest period, the full amount of your payments will be applied to your principal balance once you’ve paid all the interest that accrued before March 13, 2020, and any fees.
You may qualify for a deferment if you are:
If you are having temporary problems repaying your federal student loans and are not eligible for a deferment, contact your loan servicer to see if you are eligible for forbearance. Forbearance is another method of temporarily postponing or reducing loan payments. You are never changed a fee for applying for forbearance on your federal student loans.
You may be granted forbearance if you meet one of the following requirements:
- You are unable to make your scheduled loan payments for reasons including, but not limited to, financial hardship and illness.
- You are serving in a medical or dental internship or residency program and you meet specific requirements
- The total amount you owe each month for all of the Title IV student loans you received is 20% or more of your total monthly gross income (for a maximum of three years)
- You are serving in an approved AmeriCorps position.
- You are performing a teaching service that would qualify for loan forgiveness under the requirements of the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
- You qualify for partial repayment of your loans under the Student Loan Repayment Program, as administered by the Department of Defense
- You are called to active duty in the U.S. armed forces.
Note: Interest will continue to be charged during forbearance on all types of loans. If you do not pay this interest, it will be capitalized at the end of the forbearance.