If you are having difficulty paying your student loan you may be eligible to put your student loan on deferment or into forbearance. Deferment means that you do not need to pay your loan interest if your loan qualifies, and you have to meet economic conditions and have a low income. Forbearance means that you have to continue to pay interest, but you may have difficulty paying even though your income is too high to qualify for deferment. You need to do something about your student loans, and not just hope that the mess will go away on its own.
First, you need to contact your lender to explain the situation to them. This is the first step of the application process. They will then send you a form that you will need to fill out. This form will also ask for documents to prove that you qualify for deferment.
Second, collect the documents that the form requires, and fill out the paperwork. Send in the form and copies of the documents that your lender requested. You need to continue to make your payments until you learn that your deferment has been approved.
Third, if you are not contacted in week or two, call back to confirm that they have received the information, and to follow up on the status of your deferment application. You can continue to do this at weekly intervals until your application has been processed. Remember to be polite during these calls.
Finally, you need to work to change the situation that has caused you to be put into deferment. This means that you need to sit down and look at your income situation and change it. Look for a new job, and stay on a budget so you can get your other debt under control. You may need to get a second job so that you can take care of the situation, and prevent it from happening again. You are only allowed to be on economic deferment for a total of three years.
If you are having a difficult time being approved, or you are denied you may want to contact the FSA Ombudsman to help you with the negotiation process. You can access their website www.ombudsman.ed.gov or by calling them at 1-877-557-2575. You need to continue to pay until you have your deferment approved, even while you are negotiating.
What You Need
- Student Loan Lender Number
- Proof of Economic Hardship/Unemployment