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Borrowers struggling to make their monthly student loan payments often have a lot of questions regarding their repayment options. If you’re wondering how to defer private student loans, or want to know the differences between deferment and forbearance, you’re in the right place.

Deferment vs Forbearance

Deferment is a repayment option offered by both the government and some private lenders to borrowers in times of financial hardship. If you qualify, it allows for a short term delay in repayment for a period of time determined by your lender.

Do student loans accrue interest while in deferment?

The interest which accrues during this delay is typically added to your principal balance, to be repaid at a later date. Interest collected during deferment of the Perkins loan, direct subsidized loan and/or subsidized federal Stafford loan is paid for by the government.

What does it mean when a student loan is in forbearance?

Forbearance is similar to deferment in that it allows you to lower or halt your monthly payments on student loans until a future date determined by your lender. You can apply for forbearance directly with your loan servicer and must continue to make monthly payments until you’ve been approved. You are also still responsible for the interest which accrues during this break, so if possible, try to make partial payments on your loan instead of no payment at all.

What is the difference between a student loan deferment and forbearance?


Check with your lender for more details on their specific deferment and forbearance policies. For federal loans, visit the Federal Student Aid Office’s website.

See how much you can save by refinancing your student loans via Credible!

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