34 CFR § 685.204 - Deferment.

§ 685.204 Deferment.

(a) General.

(1) A Direct Subsidized Loan or Direct Subsidized Consolidation Loan borrower who meets the requirements described in paragraphs (b), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), or (j) of this section is eligible for a deferment during which periodic installments of principal and interest need not be paid.

(2) A Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Consolidation Loan, Direct PLUS Loan, or Direct PLUS Consolidation Loan borrower who meets the requirements described in paragraphs (b) through (j) of this section is eligible for a deferment during which periodic installments of principal need not be paid but interest does accrue and is capitalized or paid by the borrower. At or before the time a deferment is granted, the Secretary provides information, including an example, to assist the borrower in understanding the impact of capitalization of accrued, unpaid interest on the borrower's loan principal and on the total amount of interest to be paid over the life of the loan.

(3) A borrower whose loan is in default is not eligible for a deferment, unless the borrower has made payment arrangements satisfactory to the Secretary.

(4)

(i) To receive a deferment, except as provided for in-school deferments under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) through (iv) of this section, the borrower must request the deferment and, except as provided in paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section, provide the Secretary with all information and documents required to establish eligibility for the deferment.

(ii) In the case of a military service deferment under paragraph (h) of this section, a borrower's representative may request the deferment and provide the required information and documents on behalf of the borrower. If the Secretary grants a military service deferment based on a request from a borrower's representative, the Secretary notifies the borrower that the deferment has been granted and that the borrower has the option to cancel the deferment and continue to make payments on the loan. The Secretary may also notify the borrower's representative of the outcome of the deferment request.

(5)

(i) After receiving a borrower's written or verbal request for a deferment, the Secretary may grant a graduate fellowship deferment under paragraph (d), a rehabilitation training deferment under paragraph (e), an unemployment deferment under paragraph (f), an economic hardship deferment under paragraph (g), a military service deferment under paragraph (h), or a post-active duty student deferment under paragraph (i) of this section if the Secretary confirms that the borrower has received a deferment on a FFEL Program loan for the same reason and during the same time period.

(ii) The Secretary will grant a deferment based on the information obtained under paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section when determining a borrower's eligibility for a deferment, unless the Secretary, as of the date of the determination, has information indicating that the borrower does not qualify for the deferment. The Secretary will resolve any discrepant information before granting a deferment under paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section.

(iii) If the Secretary grants a deferment under paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section, the Secretary notifies the borrower that the deferment has been granted and that the borrower has the option to cancel the deferment and continue to make payments on the loan.

(b) In-school deferment.

(1) A Direct Loan borrower is eligible for a deferment during any period during which -

(i) The borrower is carrying at least one-half the normal full-time work load for the course of study that the borrower is pursuing, as determined by the eligible school the borrower is attending; and

(ii) The borrower is not serving in a medical internship or residency program, except for a residency program in dentistry.

(2) For the purpose of paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the Secretary processes a deferment when -

(i) The borrower submits a request to the Secretary along with documentation verifying the borrower's eligibility;

(ii) The Secretary receives information from the borrower's school indicating that the borrower is eligible to receive a new loan;

(iii) The Secretary receives student status information from the borrower's school, either directly or indirectly, indicating that the borrower is enrolled on at least a half-time basis; or

(iv) The Secretary confirms a borrower's half-time enrollment status through the use of the National Student Loan Data System if requested to do so by the school the borrower is attending.

(3)

(i) Upon notification by the Secretary that a deferment has been granted based on paragraph (b)(2)(ii), (iii), or (iv) of this section, the borrower has the option to cancel the deferment and continue to make payments on the loan.

(ii) If the borrower elects to cancel the deferment and continue to make payments on the loan, the borrower has the option to make the principal and interest payments that were deferred. If the borrower does not make the payments, the Secretary applies a deferment for the period in which payments were not made and capitalizes the interest.

(c) In-school deferments for Direct PLUS Loan borrowers with loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008. (1)(i) A student Direct PLUS Loan borrower is eligible for a deferment on a Direct PLUS Loan first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008 during the six-month period that begins on the day after the student ceases to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis at an eligible institution.

(ii) If the Secretary grants an in-school deferment to a student Direct PLUS Loan borrower in accordance with § 685.204(b)(2)(ii), (iii), or (iv), the deferment period for a Direct PLUS Loan first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008 includes the six-month post-enrollment period described in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section.

(2) A parent Direct PLUS Loan borrower is eligible for a deferment on a Direct PLUS Loan first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008 -

(i) Upon the request of the borrower, during the period when the student on whose behalf the loan was obtained is enrolled at an eligible institution on at least a half-time basis; and

(ii) Upon the request of the borrower, during the six-month period that begins on the later of the day after the student on whose behalf the loan was obtained ceases to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis or, if the parent borrower is also a student, the day after the parent borrower ceases to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis.

(d) Graduate fellowship deferment.

(1) A Direct Loan borrower is eligible for a deferment during any period in which an authorized official of the borrower's graduate fellowship program certifies that the borrower is pursuing a course of study pursuant to an eligible graduate fellowship program in accordance with paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

(2)

(i) To qualify for a deferment under paragraph (d)(1) of this section, a borrower must -

(A) Hold at least a baccalaureate degree conferred by an institution of higher education;

(B) Have been accepted or recommended by an institution of higher education for acceptance on a full-time basis into an eligible graduate fellowship program, as defined in paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section; and

(C) Not be serving in a medical internship or residency program, except for a residency program in dentistry.

(ii) An eligible graduate fellowship program is a fellowship program that -

(A) Provides sufficient financial support to graduate fellows to allow for full-time study for at least six months;

(B) Requires a written statement from each applicant explaining the applicant's objectives before the award of that financial support;

(C) Requires a graduate fellow to submit periodic reports, projects, or evidence of the fellow's progress; and

(D) In the case of a course of study at a foreign university, accepts the course of study for completion of the fellowship program.

(e) Rehabilitation training program deferment.

(1) A Direct Loan borrower is eligible for a deferment during any period in which an authorized official of the borrower's rehabilitation training program certifies that the borrower is pursuing an eligible rehabilitation training program for individuals with disabilities in accordance with paragraph (e)(2) of this section.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (e)(1) of this section, an eligible rehabilitation training program for disabled individuals is a program that -

(i) Is licensed, approved, certified, or otherwise recognized as providing rehabilitation training to disabled individuals by -

(A) A State agency with responsibility for vocational rehabilitation programs;

(B) A State agency with responsibility for drug abuse treatment programs;

(C) A State agency with responsibility for mental health services programs;

(D) A State agency with responsibility for alcohol abuse treatment programs; or

(E) The Department of Veterans Affairs; and

(ii) Provides or will provide the borrower with rehabilitation services under a written plan that -

(A) Is individualized to meet the borrower's needs;

(B) Specifies the date on which the services to the borrower are expected to end; and

(C) Is structured in a way that requires a substantial commitment by the borrower to his or her rehabilitation. The Secretary considers a substantial commitment by the borrower to be a commitment of time and effort that normally would prevent an individual from engaging in full-time employment, either because of the number of hours that must be devoted to rehabilitation or because of the nature of the rehabilitation. For the purpose of this paragraph, full-time employment involves at least 30 hours of work per week and is expected to last at least three months.

(f) Unemployment deferment.

(1) A Direct Loan borrower is eligible for a deferment during periods that, collectively, do not exceed three years in which the borrower is seeking and unable to find full-time employment.

(2) A borrower qualifies for an unemployment deferment by -

(i) Providing evidence of eligibility for unemployment benefits to the Secretary; or

(ii) Providing to the Secretary a written certification, or an equivalent as approved by the Secretary, that -

(A) The borrower has registered with a public or private employment agency, if one is available to the borrower within a 50-mile radius of the borrower's current address; and

(B) For all requests beyond the initial request, the borrower has made at least six diligent attempts during the preceding six-month period to secure full-time employment.

(3) For purposes of obtaining an unemployment deferment under paragraph (f)(2)(ii) of this section, the following rules apply:

(i) A borrower may qualify for an unemployment deferment whether or not the borrower has been previously employed.

(ii) An unemployment deferment is not justified if the borrower refuses to seek or accept employment in kinds of positions or at salary and responsibility levels for which the borrower feels overqualified by virtue of education or previous experience.

(iii) Full-time employment involves at least 30 hours of work a week and is expected to last at least three months.

(iv) The initial period of unemployment deferment may be granted for a period of unemployment beginning up to six months before the date the Secretary receives the borrower's request, and may be granted for up to six months after that date.

(4) The Secretary does not grant an unemployment deferment beyond the date that is six months after the date the borrower provides evidence of the borrower's eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits under paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section or the date the borrower provides the written certification, or an approved equivalent, under paragraph (f)(2)(ii) of this section.

(g) Economic hardship deferment. (1)(i) A Direct Loan borrower is eligible for a deferment during periods that, collectively, do not exceed three years in which the borrower has experienced or will experience an economic hardship in accordance with paragraph (g)(2) of this section.

(ii) An economic hardship deferment is granted for periods of up to one year at a time, except that a borrower who receives a deferment under paragraph (g)(2)(iv) of this section may receive an economic hardship deferment for the lesser of the borrower's full term of service in the Peace Corps or the borrower's remaining period of economic hardship deferment eligibility under the 3-year maximum.

(2) A borrower qualifies for an economic hardship deferment if the borrower -

(i) Has been granted an economic hardship deferment under either the FFEL or the Federal Perkins Loan programs for the period of time for which the borrower has requested an economic hardship deferment for his or her Direct Loan;

(ii) Is receiving payment under a Federal or State public assistance program, such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Supplemental Security Income, Food Stamps, or State general public assistance;

(iii) Is working full-time (as defined in paragraph (g)(3)(iii) of this section) and has a monthly income (as defined in paragraph (g)(3)(iv) of this section) that does not exceed the greater of (as calculated on a monthly basis) -

(A) The minimum wage rate described in section 6 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938; or

(B) An amount equal to 150 percent of the poverty guideline applicable to the borrower's family size (as defined in paragraph (g)(3)(v) of this section) as published annually by the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 9902(2). If a borrower is not a resident of a State identified in the poverty guidelines, the poverty guideline to be used for the borrower is the poverty guideline (for the relevant family size) used for the 48 contiguous States; or

(iv) Is serving as a volunteer in the Peace Corps.

(3) The following rules apply to a deferment granted under paragraph (g)(2)(iii) of this section:

(i) For an initial period of deferment, the Secretary requires the borrower to submit evidence showing the amount of the borrower's monthly income.

(ii) To qualify for a subsequent period of deferment that begins less than one year after the end of a period of deferment under paragraph (g)(2)(iii) of this section, the Secretary requires the borrower to submit evidence showing the amount of the borrower's monthly income or a copy of the borrower's most recently filed Federal income tax return.

(iii) A borrower is considered to be working full-time if the borrower is expected to be employed for at least three consecutive months at 30 hours per week.

(iv) A borrower's monthly income is the gross amount of income received by the borrower from employment and from other sources, or one-twelfth of the borrower's adjusted gross income, as recorded on the borrower's most recently filed Federal income tax return.

(v) Family size means the number that is determined by counting the borrower, the borrower's spouse, and the borrower's children, including unborn children who will be born during the period covered by the deferment, if the children receive more than half their support from the borrower. A borrower's family size includes other individuals if, at the time the borrower requests the economic hardship deferment, the other individuals -

(A) Live with the borrower; and

(B) Receive more than half their support from the borrower and will continue to receive this support from the borrower for the year the borrower certifies family size. Support includes money, gifts, loans, housing, food, clothes, car, medical and dental care, and payment of college costs.

(h) Military service deferment.

(1) A Direct Loan borrower is eligible for a deferment during any period in which the borrower is -

(i) Serving on active duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency, as defined in paragraph (h)(5) of this section; or

(ii) Performing qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency, as defined in paragraph (h)(5) of this section.

(2) For a borrower whose active duty service includes October 1, 2007, or begins on or after that date, the deferment period ends 180 days after the demobilization date for each period of the service described in paragraphs (h)(1)(i) and (h)(1)(ii) of this section.

(3) Without supporting documentation, the military service deferment will be granted to an otherwise eligible borrower for a period not to exceed the initial 12 months from the date the qualifying eligible service began based on a request from the borrower or the borrower's representative.

(4) The provisions of paragraph (h) of this section do not authorize the refunding of any payments made by or on behalf of a borrower during a period for which the borrower qualified for a military service deferment.

(5) As used in paragraph (h) of this section -

(i) Serving on active duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency means service by an individual who is -

(A) A Reserve of an Armed Force ordered to active duty under 10 U.S.C. 12301(a), 12301(g), 12302, 12304, or 12306;

(B) A retired member of an Armed Force ordered to active duty under 10 U.S.C. 688 for service in connection with a war or other military operation or national emergency, regardless of the location at which such active duty service is performed; or

(C) Any other member of an Armed Force on active duty in connection with such emergency or subsequent actions or conditions who has been assigned to a duty station at a location other than the location at which the member is normally assigned;

(ii) Qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other operation or national emergency means service as a member of the National Guard on full-time National Guard duty, as defined in 10 U.S.C. 101(d)(5) under a call to active service authorized by the President or the Secretary of Defense for a period of more than 30 consecutive days under 32 U.S.C. 502(f) in connection with a war, other military operation, or national emergency declared by the President and supported by Federal funds;

(iii) Active duty means active duty as defined in 10 U.S.C. 101(d)(1) except that it does not include active duty for training or attendance at a service school;

(iv) Military operation means a contingency operation as defined in 10 U.S.C. 101(a)(13); and

(v) National emergency means the national emergency by reason of certain terrorist attacks declared by the President on September 14, 2001, or subsequent national emergencies declared by the President by reason of terrorist attacks.

(i) Post-active duty student deferment.

(1) A Direct Loan borrower is eligible for a deferment for 13 months following the conclusion of the borrower's active duty military service and any applicable grace period if -

(i) The borrower is a member of the National Guard or other reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States or a member of such forces in retired status; and

(ii) The borrower was enrolled on at least a half-time basis in a program of instruction at an eligible institution at the time, or within six months prior to the time, the borrower was called to active duty.

(2) As used in paragraph (i)(1) of this section, “active duty” means active duty as defined in 10 U.S.C. 101(d)(1) for at least a 30-day period, except that -

(i) Active duty includes active State duty for members of the National Guard under which a Governor activates National Guard personnel based on State statute or policy and the activities of the National Guard are paid for with State funds;

(ii) Active duty includes 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 with Federal funds;

(iii) Active duty does not include active duty for training or attendance at a service school; and

(iv) Active duty does not include employment in a full-time, permanent position in the National Guard unless the borrower employed in such a position is reassigned to active duty under paragraph (i)(2)(i) of this section or full-time National Guard duty under paragraph (i)(2)(ii) of this section.

(3) If the borrower returns to enrolled student status on at least a half-time basis during the grace period or the 13-month deferment period, the deferment expires at the time the borrower returns to enrolled student status on at least a half-time basis.

(4) If a borrower qualifies for both a military service deferment and a post-active duty student deferment, the 180-day post-demobilization military service deferment period and the 13-month post-active duty student deferment period apply concurrently.

(j) Additional deferments for Direct Loan borrowers with FFEL Program loans made before July 1, 1993. If, at the time of application for a borrower's first Direct Loan, a borrower has an outstanding balance of principal or interest owing on any FFEL Program loan that was made, insured, or guaranteed prior to July 1, 1993, the borrower is eligible for a deferment during -

(1) The periods described in paragraphs (b) through (i) of this section; and

(2) The periods described in 34 CFR 682.210(b), including those periods that apply to a “new borrower” as that term is defined in 34 CFR 682.210(b)(7).

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1845-0021)
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1087a et seq.)
[78 FR 65829, Nov. 1, 2013]

The following state regulations pages link to this page.