Military Service Deferment
A borrower who is serving on active duty or performing qualifying National Guard duty in connection with a war, military operation, or national emergency does not need to pay principal or interest.
The overall 3-year limit for this deferment was eliminated in October 2007, as was the provision that limited the availability of the deferment to loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2001. A borrower may receive deferment for all eligible outstanding loans in repayment as of October 1, 2007. A borrower whose deferment eligibility had expired due to the prior 3-year limitation and who was still serving on eligible active duty on or after October 1, 2007 may receive the deferment retroactively from the date the prior deferment expired until the end of the borrower's active duty service.
Effective October 1, 2007, the deferment now is extended 180 days for qualifying periods of service that include October 1, 2007 or that begin on or after that date. This additional period is available each time a borrower is demobilized at the conclusion of qualifying service. The additional 180 day deferment may not be granted without documentation supporting the borrowers claim of end-of-military-service date.
A borrower may not be reimbursed for any payments made by or on behalf of a borrower during a period for which the borrower qualified for a deferment.
13-month post-active duty deferment
Effective October 1, 2007, borrowers who are members of the National Guard or Armed Forces Reserve, and members of the Armed Forces who are in retired status, are eligible for a 13-month period of deferment on repayment of their Perkins loans following the completion of their active duty military service if they were enrolled in a postsecondary school at the time of, or within 6 months prior to, their activation. Many borrowers may also be eligible for the military service deferment described above, and a student may receive both deferments if eligible. If a student receives both, the overlapping periods of deferment will run concurrently.
A borrower returning from active duty who is in a grace period is not required to waive the grace period to use the 13-month post-active duty student deferment. If the borrower re-enrolls in postsecondary school (at least half-time) prior to the expiration of the 13-month period, the deferment ends on the date the student re-enrolls.
Unlike the military service deferment described above, students receiving the active duty student deferment need not be activated during a war, national emergency, or other military operation.
For purposes of the active duty student deferment, "active duty" has the same meaning as in Section 101(d)(1) of Title 10, United States Code, but does not include active duty for training or attendance at a service school/academy.
Members of the National Guard may qualify for this deferment for Title 32 full-time National Guard duty under which a Governor is authorized, with the approval of the President or the U.S. Secretary of Defense, to order a member to State active duty and the activities of the National Guard are paid for by federal funds; or for State active duty under which a Governor activates National Guard personnel based on State statute or policy, and the activities of the Nation Guard are paid for by State funds. Active duty does not include a borrower who is service full-time in a permanent position with the National Guard, unless the borrower is reassigned as a part of a call-up to active duty service.
34 CFR 674.34(i)