What Is Forbearance Student Loan: A Lifeline for Student Loan Borrowers

what is forbearance student loan

Student loans are a common means of financing higher education. However, life doesn’t always go as planned, and sometimes borrowers struggle to meet their repayment obligations. In such situations, forbearance can be a valuable option. This article will delve into what is forbearance student loan, exploring what it is, how it works, and its implications for borrowers.

What is Forbearance student loan?

It is typically granted to borrowers facing financial hardships, such as unemployment, medical expenses, or other unexpected financial challenges. Unlike deferment, which is often automatic and doesn’t accrue interest on certain types of loans, forbearance can be discretionary and may accumulate interest on all types of loans.

Types of Forbearance

There are two main types of forbearance:

1. General Forbearance

General forbearance is available for borrowers who do not qualify for deferment and are facing financial difficulties. At a time, and borrowers must reapply periodically.

2. Mandatory Forbearance

Mandatory forbearance is typically granted in specific situations, such as:

  • If your monthly loan payment is 20% or more of your gross monthly income.
  • You are a member of the National Guard and have been activated by a governor, but you do not qualify for a military deferment.

How to Request Forbearance

To request forbearance, borrowers must contact their loan servicer. The loan servicer will provide the necessary forms and instructions. It’s important to continue making payments until forbearance is approved to avoid default.

Implications of Forbearance

While forbearance can provide temporary relief, it’s important to consider its implications:

1. Interest Accrual

During forbearance, interest continues to accrue on all types of loans. This means that your loan balance may increase, leading to higher overall costs in the long run.

2. Extended Repayment

Forbearance extends the repayment period. Once forbearance ends, borrowers may have a higher monthly payment or an extended repayment term.

3. Impact on Credit

Forbearance is reported to credit bureaus and can impact your credit score. Ensure that forbearance is accurately reported.

Alternatives to Forbearance

Before opting for forbearance, borrowers should explore alternative loan consolidation. These alternatives may provide more favorable terms and lower payments. Read more…


In conclusion, What is forbearance student loan can be vital for borrowers facing financial hardships. Understanding how forbearance works, its types, and the potential implications is crucial. However, it’s essential to use forbearance wisely and consider alternative repayment options to minimize the long-term financial impact.


1. Is forbearance a better option than deferment for student loans?

Forbearance and deferment serve different purposes. Deferment is often preferred because it does not accrue interest on certain types of loans. However, forbearance can provide temporary relief if you do not qualify for deferment.

2. Can I apply for forbearance multiple times?

You can apply for forbearance multiple times, but it is typically granted in 12-month increments. You must reapply periodically if you continue to face financial difficulties.

3. Will forbearance affect my credit score?

Yes, forbearance is reported to credit bureaus and can impact your credit score. It’s crucial to monitor your credit report to ensure accurate reporting.

4. Are there any fees associated with requesting forbearance?

There are generally no fees associated with requesting forbearance. However, interest continues to accrue on your loans during forbearance, which may increase your overall loan costs.

5. What is the maximum duration of forbearance?

For general forbearance, the maximum duration is typically 12 months at a time. Mandatory forbearance may have specific time limits depending on the situation.

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