Delaying Loan Payments

Under certain circumstances, you may qualify for an in-school loan deferment (temporarily putting off loan payments) or forbearance (stopping loan payments for a given period) from your lender.


You may be able to defer repayment of a Federal Direct Loan if:

  • You have made your payments on time or are in the grace period after graduation, or have been granted other deferments or forbearances.
  • You are enrolled in school at least half-time–in which case you can almost always defer the payments on your student loans. Half-time status is defined as follows:
    • Undergraduate: 6 credit hours of study in a term
    • Graduate: 3 credit hours of study in a term.

For students enrolled in a federally eligible program, we report a ‘snapshot’ of enrollment on or around the 12th of each month. In order for your student loans to remain in deferment, you must maintain a half-time enrollment status during an entire term.

Obtaining a Deferment

Follow these steps:

  1. Contact your lender or holder of your loan and request the form appropriate for the reason you think qualifies you for deferment.
  2. Complete sections 1 and 3 of the form.
  3. Fax the completed form to the Excelsior University Registration Office at 518-738-9009. Be sure to include your lender information and their fax number.
  4. Excelsior will fax your completed form to your lender seven to ten business days after we receive it.

Note: Deferment forms are submitted to lenders after a term’s course cancellation period.


Forbearance allows you to stop making payments for up to one year.

It is easier to obtain than deferments or cancellations because forbearance is not tied to the type of loans you have or the date you obtained them.

In some circumstances, forbearance may be available even if you have defaulted. Forbearance on federal loans may be granted for a number of reasons, including:

  • Poor health
  • Unforeseen personal problems (including financial)
  • Inability to pay within the maximum repayment term (usually 10 years)
  • No monthly payments totaling more than 20% of a borrower’s monthly income

In forbearance, while your lender or loan holder gives you permission to stop making payments for a set period of time, interest continues to accrue during that time.

Obtaining a Forbearance

Contact the holder of your loan, explain your situation, ask for forbearance, and fill out the appropriate lender forms.

Loan Cancellation and Discharge

All loans received under programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act can be canceled for several different circumstances, including in the event of your death or if you become totally and permanently disabled after the loan is disbursed. Read more details.