Sallie Mae offers six deferment and three forbearance options. There are education-related, economic hardship, in-school, military service, unemployment and parental deferments. Forbearance options include general, mandatory and student loan debt burden.
Education-related and in-school deferment options are for borrowers who are returning to school or are currently enrolled in a graduate fellowship or rehabilitation training program. Unemployment and economic hardship deferments are for borrowers who are having financial difficulties or are employed for less than 30 hours per week. A military service deferment is for borrowers who are in active service. For parents, the Parent PLUS Borrower plan defers payments while the student is currently enrolled at least part-time in school. Interest does not accrue during deferment.
If a borrower is experiencing financial difficulties, a change in employment or medical circumstances preventing student loan payment, the general forbearance option is available. A mandatory forbearance is for borrowers who are in an internship, a medical residency program or the National Guard serving active duty for 30 consecutive days. The student loan debt burden forbearance option is for all eligible borrowers with Title IV loans that are equal to or greater than 20% of their total income. In these cases, interest does accrue during forbearance.