Impact Of Forbearance And Deferment Options On Student Loan Repayment

Navigating the complexities of student loan repayment can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are two valuable options available: forbearance and deferment. In this article, we will delve into the impact of these choices on the journey of repaying student loans. Understanding how forbearance and deferment work is essential for borrowers seeking financial flexibility and stability.

What Is Forbearance?

Forbearance is the act of refraining from enforcing something that is due, such as a debt repayment. Almost all loan companies including many loan apps for students takes forbearance into consideration while paying back loans. It involves temporarily pausing or reducing loan payments, interest accrual, or collections activity for a defined period of time.

Forbearance allows a borrower experiencing financial hardship or temporary difficulties making payments to postpone payments or make smaller payments for a short time.

The borrower’s debt continues to grow during forbearance if interest continues accruing. Forbearance provides temporary relief but does not erase what is owed. After forbearance ends, regular payments resume and the borrower still owes the full debt plus any accrued interest.

When To Consider Forbearance?

Consider forbearance when facing temporary financial hardship. It can provide relief by allowing you to temporarily pause or reduce loan payments. Here are some situations when forbearance might be a helpful option:

  • Job Loss: If you lose your job or experience a significant reduction in income, forbearance can provide a temporary reprieve from loan payments.
  • Medical Expenses: Sudden and high medical bills can strain your finances. Forbearance can help you manage these unexpected costs without defaulting on loans.
  • Natural Disasters: In the aftermath of a natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake, forbearance can assist in coping with the financial fallout.
  • Temporary Financial Setbacks: If you encounter a short-term financial setback, such as a car repair or unexpected home repair, forbearance can offer temporary relief.
  • Pandemic or Economic Crisis: During widespread economic downturns, like the COVID-19 pandemic, forbearance programs may be available to provide relief to affected individuals and businesses.

Remember that forbearance is a short-term solution, and interest may continue to accrue. It’s essential to communicate with your lender and understand the terms and consequences before opting for forbearance.

How Forbearance Impact Your Loan Repayment?

Forbearance allows borrowers to temporarily pause or reduce loan payments for a set period of time. During forbearance, principal payments are postponed but interest may continue to accrue, increasing the total debt owed. When forbearance ends, borrowers resume making regular payments but now have higher overall debt and interest charges. 

While forbearance provides short-term payment relief, it increases total repayment costs over the life of the loan. Borrowers should avoid unnecessary forbearance and get back on track with payments as soon as they are able to in order to minimize overall interest expenses and pay off debt faster. Careful planning of the forbearance term is important to balance temporary relief with long-term repayment impacts.

What Is Deferment?

Deferment is the temporary postponement of student loan payments for specific circumstances.

  • Eligibility is based on enrollment status, financial hardship, unemployment, or military service.
  • During deferment, principal payments are postponed and interest does not accrue on subsidized loans.
  • Deferment pauses payments but allows borrowers to avoid interest charges, unlike forbearance.
  • Deferment periods are typically limited to 6 months or 1 year at a time.
  • After deferment, regular payments resume but overall debt is unchanged.
  • Deferment provides short-term relief for eligible borrowers without increasing total repayment costs.

When To Consider Deferment?

Enrolled at least half-time at an eligible postsecondary school – payments can be deferred until graduation or when enrollment status changes.

  • Experiencing economic hardship or unemployment – defer payments up to 3 years.
  • Serving active duty military or post-active duty – defer payments until service is completed.
  • In rehabilitation training programs for disabled individuals – defer while enrolled in the program.
  • On active duty military during a war, military operation or national emergency – defer payments for entire active duty period and 180 days after.
  • Serving in the Peace Corps – defer for full term of service.
  • Deferment allows postponing payments without interest accruing on subsidized loans, providing temporary relief during challenging circumstances.

How Deferment Impacts Your Loan Repayment

Deferment serves as a valuable tool for managing loan repayments, offering a temporary respite from financial obligations. However, it is imperative to grasp the broader impact it can have on your overall loan scenario.

  • Temporary Respite: Deferment permits borrowers to momentarily halt their loan payments, typically in response to financial hardships like unemployment or economic challenges.
  • Interest Accrual: During deferment, interest may continue to accumulate on specific types of loans, potentially leading to an increased total loan balance.
  • Credit Consequences: Deferment can influence your credit score since it is reported to credit bureaus. Maintaining timely communication with your lender is vital to minimize adverse effects.
  • Loan Term Extension: In certain situations, deferment can prolong the loan term, resulting in an extended repayment period.
  • Eligibility Criteria: Deferment options are not universally available, and eligibility standards may differ among loans and lenders. Therefore, it is essential to verify with your lender whether you meet the criteria.
  • Considering Alternatives: Before opting for deferment, it is advisable to explore alternative repayment plans, such as income-driven options, to determine their suitability.
  • Effective Communication: Maintaining open communication with your lender is crucial for a comprehensive understanding of the terms and consequences associated with deferment.

To summarize, deferment offers short-term relief from loan payments, but it is vital to weigh its long-term ramifications on your loan balance, credit score, and overall financial standing.


The impact of forbearance and deferment options on student loan repayment is essential for borrowers seeking financial flexibility. Whether you take emergency loan 5000 or 500000, you should take both of these into consideration. While forbearance provides short-term relief, it can increase the overall cost of repayment due to accruing interest. 

On the other hand, deferment offers temporary respite without interest accumulation on subsidized loans, making it a valuable choice during challenging circumstances. However, borrowers should carefully consider the long-term implications and communicate effectively with their lenders to make informed decisions that align with their financial goals.

Leave a Comment