Military and Related Service Deferments
A borrower may defer repayment for up to three years and interest will not accrue while he or she is:
- a member of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard.
- a member of the National Guard or the Reserves serving a period of full-time active duty in the armed forces.
- an officer in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service.
- (for Perkins Loans made before July 1, 1993 only) on full-time active duty as a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps.
[For Perkins Loans made before July 1, 1993]
A borrower may defer repayment (and interest will not accrue) during a period of up to one year if the borrower is a mother of a pre-school-age child, provided the mother is working (or going back to work) at a salary that is no more than $1.00 above the minimum hourly wage.
A borrower may also defer repayment for up to six months if the borrower is pregnant, or if he or she is taking care of a newborn or newly adopted child. This deferment is called a parental leave deferment. The borrower must be unemployed and not attending school and must apply for deferment within six months of leaving school or dropping below half-time status.
Loans disbursed before July 1, 1993 are eligible for an additional type of hardship deferment, which is separate and different from an economic hardship deferment.
A borrower may defer repayment for hardship, as determined by the school (for example, if the borrower is facing a prolonged period of illness or unemployment). A borrower may qualify for unlimited deferments due to hardship.
Interest will continue to accrue during the hardship deferment. Also, hardship deferments do not have post-deferment grace periods.
Service as (or Comparable to) Peace Corps/Americorps*VISTA Volunteer
A borrower may defer repayment for up to three years and interest will not accrue while he or she is a Peace Corps or Americorps*VISTA (under Title 1, Part A of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973) volunteer or providing comparable service. A borrower is considered to be providing service comparable to Peace Corps or Americorps*VISTA service if he or she meets all of the following five criteria:
- The borrower serves in an organization that is exempt from taxation under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954;
- The borrower provides service to low-income persons and their communities to assist them in eliminating poverty and poverty-related human, social, and environmental conditions;
- The borrower does not receive compensation that exceeds the rate prescribed under Section 6 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (the federal minimum wage), expect that the tax-exempt organization may provide the volunteer with health, retirement, and other fringe benefits that are substantially equivalent to the benefits offered to other employees of the organization;
- The borrower, as part of his or her duties, does not give religious instruction, conduct worship service, engage in religious proselytizing, or engage in fund-raising to support religious activities; and
- The borrower has agreed to serve on a full-time basis for a term of at least one year.
A borrower who is serving in a medical internship or residency program is not considered to be in school for deferment purposes and may not receive an in-school deferment on their Perkins Loan for the internship or residency program; however, the borrower is eligible for an internship deferment for up to two years.
While the borrower is serving an eligible internship, he or she may defer repayment for up to two years. Interest will not accrue during the internship deferment. An eligible internship is one that requires the borrower to hold at least a bachelor's degree before beginning the program.
The internship must also be required by a state licensing agency as a prerequisite for certification of the individual for professional practice or service. The borrower must provide the school certification from an official of the appropriate state licensing agency indicating that the successful completion of the internship is required by the state licensing agency as a prerequisite for professional practice or service. The borrower must further provide a statement from the organization where the borrower will be an intern certifying:
- that applicants must hold a bachelor's degree to be admitted into the internship program;
- that the borrower has been accepted into the internship program, and
- the dates when the borrower is expected to begin and complete the program.
Borrowers of Perkins Loans made before July 1, 1993, may alternatively show that the internship or residency program leads to a degree or certificate awarded by an institution of higher learning, a hospital, or a health care facility offering postgraduate training. The borrower must provide the school with a statement from an authorized official of the internship program certifying that:
- an individual must have a bachelor's degree to be admitted into the program;
- the borrower has been accepted into the program, and
- the internship or residency program leads to a degree or certificate awarded by an institution of higher education, a hospital, or a health care facility that offers postgraduate training.