Repayment Options

Postpone Payments

Once in repayment, there may be times when you are unable to make your monthly payment. You may be eligible to postpone your payments with a deferment or forbearance. For assistance determining the best option for your circumstance and to apply, please contact us at 888.866.4352.

Repayment Options

A deferment is a postponement of payment on a loan, during which interest does not accrue if the loan is subsidized.

Deferment Type Time Limit
In School Deferment During a period of at least half-time enrollment in college or career school
Unemployment Deferment During a period of unemployment or inability to find full-time employment (for up to 3 years)
Economic Hardship Deferment During a period of economic hardship, including Peace Corps service (for up to 3 years)
Military Deferment During a period of active duty military service during a war, military operation, or national emergency

During the 13 months following the conclusion of qualifying active duty military service, or until you return to enrollment on at least a half-time basis, whichever is earlier, if you are a member of the National Guard or other reserve component of the U.S. armed forces and you were called or ordered to active duty while enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school or within six months of having been enrolled at least half-time

Additional eligibility criteria and requirements may apply. To determine if you qualify, please call.


Deferments are an entitlement if you qualify. Interest continues to accrue on unsubsidized loans during periods of deferment. Unpaid accrued interest will capitalize (be added to your principal balance) at the end of a deferment. Time spent on a deferment may not count toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness or Income-Driven Repayment Forgiveness. Therefore, some deferments may not be as helpful depending on your circumstances.


Forbearance is a temporary postponement of payment and should be requested as a last resort. Interest on both subsidized and unsubsidized loans remains the responsibility of the borrower. Unpaid accrued interest will capitalize (be added to your principal balance). Keep in mind that this may increase your total balance and monthly payment.


Mandatory forbearances will be granted to eligible borrowers for any of the following reasons:

Mandatory Forbearance Type Time Limit
Medical or Dental Internship or Residency Forbearance During a period when you are serving in a medical or dental internship or residency program, and you meet specific requirements.
Student Loan Debt Burden Forbearance When the total amount you owe each month for all the student loans you received is 20 percent or more of your total monthly gross income (for up to 3 years and additional conditions apply).
National Service Forbearance During a period when you are serving in a national service position for which you received a national service award.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness Forbearance During a period when you are performing teaching service that would qualify for teacher loan forgiveness.
Department of Defense Loan Repayment Program Forbearance During a period when you qualify for partial repayment of your loans under the U.S. Department of Defense Student Loan Repayment Program.
National Guard Forbearance During a period when you are a member of the National Guard and have been activated by a governor, but you are not eligible for a military deferment.
Natural Disaster Forbearance During a federally-declared natural disaster where you live (for up to three months)

Additional eligibility criteria and requirements apply. To determine if you qualify, please call.


If you are not eligible for a mandatory forbearance, you may request a discretionary forbearance for reasons related to financial hardship or illness. The amount of time with which you can stay on a discretionary forbearance is limited and MOHELA encourages you to take advantage of repayment plans which may benefit you more and help you on your path to repayment.