Deferment

Monday-Thursday: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT
Friday: 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT
Saturday: 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. CT

If you're eligible, a deferment can put your federal student loan payment on hold temporarily

There are many types of deferment, each with its own eligibility requirements. Contact your loan servicer(s) to discuss your deferment options.

Unemployment Deferment

If you are currently unemployed or underemployed, you may qualify for an Unemployment Deferment. Any of the following conditions may help you qualify:

  • Complete unemployment
  • Temporary employment that does not last more than 90 consecutive days

You must be actively seeking employment when you apply to qualify, and you must reapply every six months. The length of an Unemployment Deferment depends on the loan program (FFEL or Direct) and when your loan was made.

For FFELP borrowers

  • If your first loan was made before July 1, 1993, the maximum cumulative is 24 months.
  • If you did not have an outstanding balance on a FFELP loan that was first disbursed before July 1, 1993 when you obtained a FFELP loan on or after July 1, 1993, the maximum cumulative is 36 months.

For Direct Loan borrowers the maximum cumulative is 36 months.

To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help completing the Unemployment Deferment Request.

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Economic Hardship Deferment

If you are experiencing economic hardship, you may qualify for this deferment. There is a 36-month limitation on Economic Hardship Deferments, and you must reapply every 12 months.

To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help completing the Economic Hardship Deferment Request.

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In-School Deferment

You can defer your loan(s) if you are enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school. Your school must provide verification of enrollment to your loan servicer(s). An In-School Deferment may be automatically granted based on enrollment data from the school, but you should confirm that with your loan servicer(s) first.

There is no time limit for In-School Deferments for eligible students. To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help completing the In-School Deferment Request.

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Education-Related Deferment

To qualify for an Education-Related Deferment, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Enrolled full-time in a graduate fellowship
  • Participating in rehabilitation training
  • Enrolled in an internship or residency program
  • Teaching in a designated Teacher Shortage Area

To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help completing the Education-Related Deferment Request.

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Public Service Deferment

You may qualify for a Public Service Deferment if one of the following criteria describes you:

  • Active-duty member of the U.S. Military or National Guard
  • Full-time officer of the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service
  • Peace Corps volunteer
  • Full-time paid volunteer in an ACTION program
  • Full-time paid volunteer for a tax-exempt organization
  • Active-duty member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration`

There are limits on the length of these deferments, usually three years. Refer to the Public Service Deferment form for eligibility requirements. To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help with the Public Service Deferment Request.

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Military Service Deferment

This deferment is available if you are serving on active duty in the U.S. Military or National Guard, during a war or other military operation, or during a national emergency. There is no time limit for military service deferments.

To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help completing the Military Service Deferment Request.

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Post–Active Duty Student Deferment

If you are enrolled in school and are called to active duty as a member of the National Guard or other reserve component of the U.S. Military, you may qualify for this deferment.

  • This deferment provides a 13-month deferment following the conclusion of active duty military service.
  • It is open to any member (current or retired) of any reserve component of the U.S. Military.
  • You must have been enrolled in an eligible school within six months prior to or at the time you were called to active duty.
  • You must have been enrolled at least half-time to qualify.

To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help completing the Post-Active Duty Student Deferment Request.

If you return to school on at least a half-time basis while you are on a Post–Active Duty Student Deferment, the deferment ends. However, you would then qualify for an In-School Deferment, as described above.

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Parental Leave Deferment

If you are pregnant or caring for a newborn or newly adopted child, you may qualify for this deferment. To qualify, you must:

  • Have been enrolled in school at least half-time within the six-month period preceding the deferment;
  • Not be working full-time or attending school during the deferment period.

Eligibility is also based on loan type and date as shown on the deferment request form.

Parental Leave Deferments are limited to six months at a time. To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help completing the Parental Leave/Working Mother Deferment Request.

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Working Mother Deferment

If you are the mother of preschool-age child(ren) and are entering or re-entering the work force, you may qualify for this deferment. There is a 12-month limitation on Working Mother Deferments. Eligibility is also based on loan type and date as shown on the deferment request form.

To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help completing the Parental Leave/Working Mother Deferment Request.

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Temporary Disability Deferment

If you, your spouse or your dependent is temporarily totally disabled, you may be eligible for this deferment. To qualify, you must:

  • Have at least one outstanding FFELP loan made before July 1, 1993;
  • Provide certification—from a physician—that you, your spouse or your dependent is temporarily totally disabled.

Temporary Disability Deferments are granted in six-month increments for up to 36 months. To continue the deferment, you must request the deferment and a physician must re-certify your condition, or that of your spouse or your dependent, every six months.

To apply, contact your loan servicer(s). If you need additional assistance, contact Solutions at ECMC for help completing the Temporary Total Disability Deferment Request.

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