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Frequently Asked Questions

Deferments for the 1987-1993 Loan Era

This page describes deferments available to borrowers who first took out loans between 7/1/87 and 6/30/93.

Note: Our descriptions of various deferment types are intended as summaries only, to guide you toward deferments for which you may qualify.  They are not intended to exhaustively list all eligibility conditions or documentation requirements.  Full descriptions of requirements can be found, however, on the deferment request forms that can be viewed and printed through the links we provide.  If you have any questions about the requirements listed in a form, please call us at 1 (888) 633-4850.  

If you borrowed the earliest of your outstanding student loans on or after July 1, 1987, but before July 1, 1993, the following deferments are available to you:

Student

You may qualify for this deferment if you are enrolled full-time at an eligible institution, or are enrolled half-time and are borrowing a new student loan.  “Eligible institution” means eligible to participate in the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).  It is up to your school to determine what constitutes “full time” and “half time.”

If you are the borrower of  PLUS (Parent) Loan, you may also qualify for this deferment if the dependent student for whom you borrowed the loan meets the above qualifications.

There is no time limit to this type of deferment.  It continues to be available to you as long as you meet its eligibility requirements.

You can find a complete description of eligibility criteria on the EDU deferment request form.  The form will also spell out any documentation you are required to supply to your lender or servicer. 

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Unemployment

You qualify for this deferment if you:

bullet Are unemployed or working less than 30 hours a week;
bullet Are actively seeking full-time employment (30 hours a week or more) in any field;
bullet Are registered with an employment agency in the United States;
bullet Have not already received this deferment for 24 months.

The unemployment deferment is available for a maximum of 24 months (two years).

You can find a complete description of eligibility criteria on the UNEM deferment request form.  The form will also spell out any documentation you are required to supply to your lender or servicer. 

Please also be sure to visit our Employment Help page.

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Military, Public Health, Or NOAA

You may qualify for this deferment if you are:

bullet On active duty with any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard);
bullet An officer in the U.S. Commissioned Corps of Public Health Service; or
bullet An active duty member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

This type of deferment is available for a maximum of 36 months and must be renewed annually.

You can find a complete description of eligibility criteria on the PUB deferment request form.  The form will also spell out any documentation you are required to supply to your lender or servicer. 

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Internship/Residency

You may qualify for this deferment if you are engaged in, or accepted into, a medical or dental internship or residency program that is required for licensing to begin professional practice, or if you are serving in an internship or residency program that leads to a degree or certificate awarded by an institution of higher education, hospital, or health care facility that offers post-graduate training.

This type of deferment is limited to a maximum of 24 months (two years).

You can find a complete description of eligibility criteria on the EDU deferment request form.  The form will also spell out any documentation you are required to supply to your lender or servicer. 

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Volunteer Service

You may qualify for this deferment if you are serving full-time:

bullet In the Peace Corps;
bullet As a volunteer in an ACTION program; or
bullet As a volunteer for a tax-exempt organization (by the IRS definition).  If serving in this capacity, you must:
bullet Assist low income people and their communities in eliminating poverty and poverty-related human, social, and environmental conditions;
bullet Not earn more than the federal minimum wage;
bullet Not engage in religion-related activities as part of his/her duties; and
bullet Have agreed to serve for a period of at least one year.

This type of deferment is available for a maximum of 36 months (three years).

You can find a complete description of eligibility criteria on the PUB deferment request form.  The form will also spell out any documentation you are required to supply to your lender or servicer. 

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Graduate Fellowship

You qualify for this deferment if you are engaged in a full-time course of study in a graduate fellowship program.

If you are the borrower of  PLUS (Parent) Loan, you may also qualify for this deferment if the dependent student for whom you borrowed the loan meets the above qualifications.

There is no time limit to this deferment. The deferment remains available to you as long as you continue to meet eligibility criteria.

You can find a complete description of eligibility criteria on the EDU deferment request form.  The form will also spell out any documentation you are required to supply to your lender or servicer. 

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Rehabilitation Training

You may qualify for this deferment if you are working less than 30 hours a week and are receiving, or are scheduled to receive, training services from a rehabilitation agency.  The agency you work with must be recognized as a rehabilitation services provider by:

bullet A state agency for vocational rehabilitation;
bullet A drug or alcohol abuse treatment program;
bullet A mental health service; or
bullet The Veterans’ Administration (VA).

If you are the borrower of  PLUS (Parent) Loan, you may also qualify for this deferment if the dependent student for whom you borrowed the loan meets the above qualifications.

There is no time limit to this deferment. It is available to you as long as you continue to receive training services as described above. 

You can find a complete description of eligibility criteria on the EDU deferment request form.  The form will also spell out any documentation you are required to supply to your lender or servicer. 

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Temporary Total Disability

You may qualify for this deferment if you are temporarily and totally disabled.  This means that your disability prevents you from holding gainful employment or attending school.  You may also qualify if you are caring for a disabled spouse or dependent who requires continuous nursing care.

You must be able to have a doctor of medicine (MD) or doctor of osteopathy (DO) certify your disability on the DIS request form (see link below).  Also, if you suffered from the same condition at the time you took out your student loan, you must be able to show that your condition has significantly deteriorated since then.

This type of deferment is limited to a maximum of 36 months (3 years).

You can find a complete description of eligibility criteria on the DIS request form.  The form will also spell out any documentation you are required to supply to your lender or servicer. 

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Parental Leave

You may qualify for this deferment if you are not working and you are:

bullet Pregnant;
bullet Caring for a newborn child; or
bullet Caring for a newly adopted child.

Also, you must have attended school at least half-time during the past six months.

This type of deferment is limited to six months per occurrence. (You may use the deferment more than once.)

You can find a complete description of eligibility criteria on the FAM deferment request form.  The form will also spell out any documentation you are required to supply to your lender or servicer. 

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Working Mother

You may qualify for this deferment if you:

bullet Are the mother of a pre-school aged child;
bullet Are working full-time (at least 30 hours a week);
bullet Are earning no more than $1.00 above the federal minimum wage; and
bullet Entered or re-entered the workforce within the last year.

This type of deferment is available up to a maximum of 12 months.

You can find a complete description of eligibility criteria on the FAM deferment request form.  The form will also spell out any documentation you are required to supply to your lender or servicer. 

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Teacher Shortage

You may qualify for this deferment if you are teaching elementary or secondary school in a “teacher shortage area” as defined by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

For the purposes of this deferment, “teacher shortage area” means a particular geographic area, grade level, or subject in which there is a recognized shortage of elementary and secondary school teachers. 

This deferment is available up to a maximum of 36 months (3 years) and must be renewed annually.

You can find a complete description of eligibility criteria on the EDU deferment request form.  The form will also spell out any documentation you are required to supply to your lender or servicer. 

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