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Frequently Asked Questions

Option 1: Economic Hardship Deferment

What is it?
A means of postponing payments due on your student loans during periods of severe economic hardship.

How long can I defer (postpone) payments?   
For up to 36 months (three years).

When do I qualify?
You may qualify if: 


You receive public assistance (e.g., AFDC, Food Stamps).


You fall below the “poverty line” for your state, or


You’ve received an economic hardship deferment in another federal student loan program (i.e., Federal Direct Loan, Perkins Loan).

How do I apply?
Click here to view and print an economic hardship request form.  Read the form carefully to make sure you qualify, and follow the instructions on the form.  Mail your completed form to us at:

Student Loan Counseling Service, Inc.
P.O. Box 1078
Waterloo, IA  50704-1078

To learn more about the ECONOMIC HARDSHIP DEFERMENT, click here.

If you do not qualify, please check out any other options on your Results page, or click the button below to return to the questionnaire to make another selection.

Option 2:  Graduated or Income-Sensitive Repayment

What are Graduated and Income-Sensitive Repayment Schedules?
They are alternatives to the standard or “level” repayment schedule in which you make payments at the same amount until your loans are paid in full.

You make smaller payments at first; then your payment amount increases.

Your payment amount is adjusted every year to reflect your current income.

When are they a good idea? 
When you are having difficulty making payments under a standard or “level” repayment schedule, but expect to be able to make larger payments in the future.

When are they not a good idea?
When you can afford to make payments under a standard repayment schedule.  A graduated or income-sensitive repayment schedule may increase the finance charges your pay on your loans.

How do I apply?
Contact your lender or servicer.  Click here for a list of servicers and contacts.

To learn more about Graduated and Income-Sensitive Repayment, click here.

If you think that a graduated or income-sensitive repayment schedule is not the best option for you, please either check out the other options on this Results Page, or click the Return to Questionnaire button to make another selection.

Student Loan Counseling Service, Inc
(888) 633-4850