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Deferment of PLUS Loans

Note that details provided on this page reference loans made under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Effective July 1, 2010, all new federal student loans come directly from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Federal Direct Loans). For information regarding Federal Direct Loans, refer to the Loans page of ED's Federal Student Aid website or contact the college's financial aid office.

You may request your lender to temporarily postpone (defer) your student loan payments for a period of time, for a specific reason. The federal government will pay the interest accrued during periods of deferment for subsidized Federal Stafford Loans. For unsubsidized Federal Stafford and PLUS loans, only the principal is deferred; you are responsible for paying the interest during deferment.

Check with your lender or ISAC to see if your loan qualifies for a deferment. If you have any questions about your loan and/or grant amounts, outstanding balances, disbursements, loan statuses, and loan servicers, check with the My Federal Student Aid website or the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

Deferment Options

Each deferment option has a specific time limitation associated with it. In addition to the deferment types listed below, parent PLUS borrowers may be able to defer based on their dependent student's enrollment.

Mapping Your Future provides charts designed to assist you in determining your deferment eligibility based on the disbursement date of your oldest outstanding loan.

Deferment TypesTime Limits
Enrollment in school at least half time No time limit
Graduate fellowship No time limit
Military Service No time limit
Rehabilitation training No time limit
Post-Active Duty Student 13 months
Unemployment 36 months
Economic hardship 36 months
Temporary Total Disability 36 months

Requesting a Deferment

Deferments are not automatic. To request a deferment you must:

  • Contact your lender. Your lender will determine if you are eligible for a deferment. Eligibility is based on the date your first loan (Federal Direct or FFELP) was disbursed.
  • Obtain the proper deferment request form from your lender or Mapping Your Future.
  • Complete the deferment request form and return it to your lender. (You may request an In-School Deferment without completing a deferment form. See your lender for details.)
  • Provide any required, supporting documentation and/or certifications to your lender.
  • Continue to make your student loan payments until your deferment request is approved. If you stop making your payments, you may default and lose your deferment eligibility.

Unable to Make Your Payments

If you are unable to make your monthly payments, contact your lender immediately to avoid default by considering alternative repayment options. In addition to loan deferment, forbearance or forgiveness may be options, depending upon your circumstances.