8 Ways International Students can Opt for Student Loan Deferment

Deferment is an agreement between a lender and a borrower to temporarily suspend debt payments. Students with large student loan debts with low or no income are frequently granted loan deferments. Under such circumstances, interest is frozen and is not added to the balance. Let’s find out why student loan deferment is the best option for students.

When a student loan deferment is a good option

There are circumstances that warrant students who are on loan to defer it depending on the challenges they face. Some federal student loans do not require you to pay the interest that accrues during the deferment period. Here are some types of deferments on federal student loans that you may be eligible for.

1. Economic Hardship Deferment

This could be available for international students under some conditions. These include students receiving federal or state public assistance, serving in the Peace Corps or working full-time. But, they’ll earn less than the federal minimum wage or less than 150% of the poverty line for the borrower’s family size. This comes with a three-year limit.

2. Graduate Fellowship Deferment

This could be the best option for students who are enrolled in an approved graduate fellowship program. This is necessary so that the debt does not accrue on them.

3. In-School Deferment

This is a good option for students who are enrolled in an eligible college or career school for at least half the time. It’s also a good option if you received a direct PLUS loan or FFEL PLUS loan for graduate or professional school. This student loan deferment lasts for th period of enrollment and for 6 months afterwards.

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4. Military Service and Post-Active Duty Student Deferment

Borrowers who are called to active duty in the armed forces during military operations or national emergencies are eligible for deferment. This is over the duration of their service period.

5. Parent PLUS Borrower Deferment

This is an option if you are a parent who took out a Direct PLUS loan or FFEL PLUS loan. It’s also an option if your child is a student and is enrolled at least half time in an eligible school. This deferment lasts for an additional 6 months after enrollment ends.

6. Rehabilitation Training Deferment

This option is viable for students enrolled in an approved rehabilitation training program for the disabled.

7. Unemployment Deferment

For student loan deferments, unemployment is defined as an inability to find employment of at least 30 hours per week. This is for a period of at least three months.

8. Cancer Treatment Deferment

Students who are down with cancer disease are eligible for deferment to enable them to receive treatment. The deferment can also last for 6 months after the treatment is completed while they make plans to pay back their loans.

How to defer a Federal Student Loan

If you are enrolled in an eligible college or career school at least half time, your federal student loan is placed into an automatic deferment. This allows you to suspend payments during your enrollment or make payments during this period if you wish but you’re not required to.

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How to defer a Private Student Loan

Deferment for a private student loan may be limited except for some exceptions/conditions. These conditions can make you qualify for a deferment after contacting your lender e.g. if you are unemployed, deployed by the military, or suffer economic hardship. However, you need to provide detailed explanations that prove you need a deferment to enable you to have some time before making repayment.

While you might be considering deferment as the next option due to unforeseen circumstances, make plans on how to offset your student loan. Keep making your monthly payments until you’ve received confirmation from your lender and the Department of Financial Aid that your loans are officially in deferment.

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