Fiction: Any recent college graduate can defer or forebear his or her student loans.
Fact: Lenders may allow students to defer making loan payments, but they also have strict eligibility requirements for doing so. The most common reasons for deferment include unemployment, school enrollment, and military deployment. It is important to understand that the borrower may still be held responsible for paying interest on the loan while it is in deferment, and the lender will determine when the borrower needs to resume payments. Young people may also qualify for loan forbearance, which allows them to suspend or reduce payments—typically in one-year installments—for up to three years. To avoid damaging their credit or becoming delinquent, young people who are having trouble making loan payments should contact the lender to determine if they qualify for deferment or forbearance. Loans can also be deferred if the borrower returns to school. Most lenders will automatically defer loan payment if the student is enrolled at least half-time in a qualifying program, such as graduate school.
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