If you’re like me, you’ve finished the bulk of your post high-school education and are thankful for your degree, but now looking at the looming prospect of paying off those loans you accumulated while at the institution of your choice.
While everyone prepares you for your step into the ‘real world’ after high school and college, they don’t always tell you that you won’t get your dream job right after you graduate. That leaves you with a beginning job and not enough money to always pay the bills and pay your student loans.
So if you’re like me and looking for ways to extend or defer that loan payment cycle just a little bit longer until that job that you’ve been hoping for comes around the corner, here are a few options you have to defer your loans.
According to Stafford Loan, loans can be deferred for the following reasons:
Stafford and Perkins Loans:
Principal and interest payments may be deferred while the borrower is:
- Attending school at least halftime.
- Unemployed (up to three years).
- Studying in an approved graduate fellowship or rehabilitation program for the disabled.
- Experiencing economic hardship (up to three years).
If you are not eligible for a deferment of your loans, you may still be eligible for ‘Forbearance’ of your loans.
Forbearance is a way to temporarily postpone or reduce payments for a set period of time. This typically takes place because the borrower is experiencing financial difficulty, but can occur for any of the following reasons:
- Partial Disability
- Other documented hardship
If your student loans are through Direct Loans, you can access the deferment forms page for more information and applications for deferment and forbearance.
While I am an advocate of living debt free and paying off your school loans as soon as possible, I also understand there are some of us that are ‘just getting started’, living abroad, or going to graduate school (or all three) and need the extra help for the time being.
Struggling with student loans or have questions? Leave a comment below.
2 thoughts on “How To Avoid Paying Your Student Loans”
Had to chime in, since this is actually an area of expertise for me. One thing to keep in mind and to double check with your bank or the department of ed, is if interest will continue to accrue while you are in deferment or forbearance. If your stafford loans are unsubsidized (which means the loan accrued interest while you were in school), you may continue to have interest build up on that portion of your loans, while in deferment. My husband is in his ‘grace period’ right now for his grad school loans, and the unsubsidized portion are accruing interest as I write this. You can set up interest only payments while you are attending school to avoid tons of extra debt at the end. I assume this applies for deferment as well.
Another thing to keep in mind, there are income-contingent options as far as repayment goes as well. For instance there is a repayment plan that has you pay interest only for the first 40 months, then a larger payment for the remaining time. Lots of options out there.
Best of Luck!!! Jenny
thanks for the comments and advice. it is helpful to know all of the different options that are out there for repayment of student loans. it can be a confusing process, so thank you for adding the additional information.