How Forbearance Impacts Your Student Loans

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If you are struggling to pay your student loan debt, student loan forbearance may be an option. [Duration- 1:45]


  • If you are facing unexpected financial insecurity you will want to check with your lenders to see if there are loan modifications or short term assistance programs available, known as student loan forbearance.
  • Your student loan will not automatically pause, you will need to contact the lender(s) to determine if there are any programs each offer.
  • Federal backed student loans may have programs available to pause or reduce monthly payments.
  • If you have loans with private lenders, you will need to contact each one individually to determine options.

If you have experienced a loss of income you are likely feeling worried about how you'll stay on top of all of your bills. In addition to your obligations to pay for necessities such as housing and utilities, groceries and other bills, you may be struggling to pay down your student loan debt. However, you could be in luck because when it comes to student loan payments, there may be some options.

What does forbearance mean in student loans?

You may be eligible for a student loan forbearance. What is forbearance student loan? Student loans forbearance are modifications of the terms of your loan, through a pause in installment payments or a temporary reduction in the monthly amounts. The first thing to do is contact your lender and discuss both your current situation and what programs your lender offers.

While not all lenders offer specific programs, many are open to discussing options to keep the relationship going and may be able to provide temporary solutions. If you are granted a loan forbearance, it is important to be aware of when does student loan forbearance end so you do not get caught off guard and miss payments. Depending on your circumstances, your lender may even be willing to offer a student loan forbearance extension.

If you are granted a student loan forbearance or modification to your loan and you've already set aside some money that you pay toward your student loan debt each month, this should come as a welcome relief — and as an unexpected way to catch up on other bills. If you are able, try to implement one of these three strategies during this suspended payment period:

  1. Use this forbearance student loan interest free period to pay down the balance of your loan so you'll pay less in interest when the automatic suspension expires in the fall.
  2. Repay bills using what's commonly called the snowball method. Start with a debt that you can pay off quickly, such as a credit card with a small balance or the remainder of a small loan. Crossing a debt off your list can build your confidence and help gain momentum in your overall effort toward becoming debt-free.
  3. Repay bills using what's often referred to as the avalanche method. To do this, list your debts according to interest rate from highest to lowest, and begin making payments for debts at the top of the list. By starting there, you will eliminate the debt that “costs” the most each month.

Unfortunately, there is no ongoing widespread program that covers public and private loans or lenders, or student loans forbearance so it is important to check with your loan servicer about available aid if you are in need.

With a smart debt-repayment strategy, you may be able to make the most of a tough situation and start to take control of your financial future.

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