If you can't pay... there are options.
If you are unable to pay your loans, don't give up. There are still options for you! First, you should always communicate with your lender rather than simply stopping payments. Remember how important good credit is! Your lender can guide you to the best option for you, which might include:
A deferment is a period in which repayment of the principal balance is temporarily postponed (no payments are required) if you meet certain requirements. If you are enrolled at least half-time in an eligible post-secondary school, full-time in a graduate fellowship or in a disability rehabilitation program, you may qualify for a deferment. If you are experiencing economic hardship or are unemployed, you may also qualify for up to three years of deferment.
If you do not qualify for a deferment but are unable to make payments, you may qualify for forbearance. Forbearance allows you to temporarily stop making payments for reasons including, but not limited to, financial hardship or illness, making smaller payments or possibly extending your repayment term. Contact your lender for more information on forbearance.
If you are running into problems with your loan servicer
, Money Geek created a helpful guide
to spot servicer errors and illegalities.
If you have private loans, many companies will have forbearance or deferment options. Contact your lender to see what is available to you.