Deferments – What Are They And When Should You Use Them?

As the prices of tuition have increased rapidly over the last few years, many students are borrowing money to make it possible to pay for college. While student loans are very easy to obtain, they are not quite as easy to pay off. If you are having a hard time paying your student loans, there are options for you to consider. One of the most effective strategies that you can use when student loan payments are becoming too much to handle is deferment. What exactly is a student loan deferment and why would you want to use it?

What Is a Loan Deferment?

A loan deferment is a scenario in which the lender allows you to put off making payments on your loan for a specific period of time. For example, you may get a year off of having to make any payments. This is allowed by the lender for a specific reason, such as some kind of financial hardship.

Why and When to Defer?

There are a number of different circumstances in your life that could lead to the need for a deferment. For example, if you get out of college, and you are having a hard time finding a job, the student loan lender may give you a deferment. The lender may allow you to get a deferment if you lose your job, if you are serving in the military on active duty, if you go back to college for more than half time, or if you are serving in the Peace Corps. If you run into any kind of situation where you do not believe that you will be able to afford your student loan payments, then a deferment may be an option.

How to Get a Deferment

The process of getting a deferment is actually quite simple. Some lenders will allow you to take care of everything over the phone. Simply call your student loan lender, and ask to talk to a customer service representative. In some cases, they cannot rise a deferment right there on the spot. In other situations, they may have to ask for some kind of income documentation or other information before they can grant it. Some lenders also require you to fill out a form in order to request a deferment.

Advantages

The primary advantage of using a student loan deferment is that you can stop making your payment for a certain amount of time. If you are in a financial jam, you may not be able to afford paying this every month. With a deferment, you essentially get rid of one of your biggest payments. If you have subsidized loans, using a deferment can also be advantageous because the interest will not accumulate while you aren’t making your payments. This keeps your debt from growing while you aren’t paying.

Disadvantages

If you have unsubsidized federal student loans, interest will accumulate while you are in the deferment period. This means that your debt could grow substantially while you are not making your payments. If you take multiple deferments, your payments will be bigger when you get done deferring.

Overall, a deferment of student loan payments can be a good tool to use when you are having trouble financially. Just make sure that you understand the financial implications of doing so before you make the move.