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Forbearance Options

If you are willing but unable to make your loan payments and you do not qualify for a deferment, you can request forbearance. Forbearance is a temporary release from making loan payments, an extension of time for making payments, or a temporary reduction in payment amounts.

Forbearance is less favorable than a deferment for your subsidized loan(s) because you are responsible for paying any interest that accrues on your loan during the forbearance period. You may pay the accruing interest, or add it to the loan principal (this is called "capitalizing") and pay it later when the forbearance ends. Remember, however, that capitalization means you will be paying interest on interest so the total cost of your loan repayment will be higher.

According to, lenders must grant forbearance upon your request, if:

  • You currently serve in a medical or dental internship or residency program, and you meet certain specific requirements
  • The total amount you owe each month for all of the student loans you have received is 20 percent or more of your total monthly gross income. Additional conditions also apply.
  • You currently serve in an AmeriCorps position for which you received a national service award
  • You are performing teaching service that would qualify for teacher loan forgiveness
  • You qualify for partial repayment of your loans under the U.S. Department of Defense Student Loan Repayment Program
  • You are a member of the National Guard and have been activated by a governor, but you are not eligible for a military deferment

Lenders have the option to grant forbearance if you intend to pay the loan but, due to poor health or financial hardship, are currently unable to make the scheduled payments. Please contact your lender regarding forbearances.


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OCAP believes that financial literacy and understanding the financial aid process are critical aspects of college planning and student success. OCAP staff who work with students, parents, educators and community partners in the areas of personal finance education, state and federal financial aid, and student loan management do not provide financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice. This website and all information provided is for general educational purposes only, and is not intended to be construed as financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice.