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Deferment and Forbearance

Unable to make your loan payment?

Note: The information below is specific to Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans. If you have a private loan serviced by HESC, please log in to your online account to access information regarding possible deferment or forebearance options. You may also contact us for additional information at (800) 366-4372 between 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday, or email us at

We understand that there may be periods of time in which you may not be able to make your monthly payment due to certain circumstances. This is why we offer deferment and forbearance options, so that you can reduce or postpone your monthly loan payments. These periods of time do not count toward the length of time you have to repay your loan(s).

During a deferment, you are not required to make any payments. Accrued interest on unsubsidized Stafford or Parent/Grad PLUS Loans will be capitalized at the end of the deferment period unless it is paid prior to the deferment end date; interest for subsidized Stafford Loans will be paid by the government. You may be eligible for a deferment due to in-school enrollment status of at least half time, economic hardship, unemployment or other reasons (contact us for additional deferments that may apply).

Grad PLUS borrowers whose loan(s) is disbursed on or after July 1, 2006 will automatically be placed in a deferment once their loan(s) has been fully disbursed. Grad PLUS borrowers whose loan(s) is disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, will also receive a six-month deferment extension after they graduate or drop below half-time status. For Parent PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, the parent may request that these loans be deferred while the parent or their student is enrolled at least half time and for six months after such enrollment ends.

Deferment forms

Forbearance may be granted for a specified period of time if you cannot meet your monthly payments (normally up to 12 months at a time, for a maximum of six years). If forbearance is agreed upon, the lender or loan servicer has the option to either postpone or reduce your monthly payments. Interest on all loan types will continue to accrue. If you do not pay the interest, it will be capitalized and added to your loan balance.

Forbearance forms

If You Fail to Make Payments
If you fail to make a payment on time, your loan(s) will be considered delinquent. Failure to make scheduled monthly payments or special arrangements may result in default after 270 days of delinquency and could result in wage garnishment, negative credit reporting, withholding of IRS refunds, denial of further federal financial aid and much more.

If you’re currently in repayment and would like to enroll in a different repayment plan or apply for a deferment or forbearance, visit our forms page to download the appropriate application. If you have questions, please call us at 1-800-366-4372 or feel free to email us at