I have a federal Perkins Loan, but I’m having trouble making the payments. Can I get a deferment or forbearance?
Yes, you can get a deferment or forbearance for your Perkins Loan if you meet certain eligibility criteria.
A deferment or forbearance allows you to temporarily discontinue making payments or to temporarily make smaller payments on a federal student loan.
How deferments work. In a deferment, you don’t have to make payments on your loan. Also, interest doesn't accrue on a subsidized loan, like a federal Perkins Loan, during the deferment period.
How forbearance works. With a forbearance, you either stop making payments or temporarily make smaller payments for a set amount of time. Generally, you have to pay the interest that accrues on a loan during a forbearance period, no matter if the loan is subsidized or unsubsidized. The unpaid interest is then capitalized (added to the loan balance). But according to the Department of Education, unpaid interest is never capitalized on Perkins Loans.
Deferments for Perkins Loan borrowers are available in, for example, any of the following situations:
Deferments for military servicemembers. Military servicemembers can get a deferment under certain circumstances. For example:
Grace period. Most Perkins Loan recipients who get a deferment also get a six-month post-deferment grace period. During this time, you don’t have to make payments.
Canceling your loan. You might also be eligible for a deferment while you are working towards cancellation on your Perkins Loan. (For general information about canceling federal student loans, including Perkins Loans, see Student Loan Relief: Canceling Your Loans. For specific information about canceling a Perkins Loan, see the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website.)
How to apply for a deferment. To get a deferment, you’ll need to make a request to your loan servicer, usually by filling out a form.
Your loan servicer may grant you a forbearance for your Perkins Loan if:
How to apply for a forbearance. To get a forbearance, you’ll need to submit a request to your loan servicer. Again, you'll probably need to fill out a form.
If you have questions about options for repaying your Perkins Loan, you may contact:
For more information about deferment and forbearance options available to Perkins Loans borrowers, see the ECSI Deferment/Cancellation Table for Perkins Loans, go to the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website, or call your loan servicer.