Postpone your student loan repayment

We already talked about ways you could possibly lower your monthly student loan obligations. But if you’re looking for a way to postpone your student loan payments, there may be an option for you as well.

Under certain circumstances, borrowers may be eligible for a deferment or be granted a forbearance. Now, in both cases, you aren’t required to make payments to your student loan for a short period of time. However, there are some differences that are important to understand. I’ll give you the scoop on each:

  • Deferments: These are for federal student loans. There are several types of deferments for folks in different situationsClick here to learn about third-party website links You need to meet the criteria of these situations in order to be eligible for the deferment. If you are granted a deferment, know that in most cases, you’ll still be accruing interest. (The exception is for subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, which are based on financial need — the interest accrued during deferment for those loans is paid by the government.) If you don’t qualify for a deferment, you may be able to postpone payments with a forbearance.
  • Forbearances: Forbearances are available for both federal and private student loans. These are granted at the discretion of your lender. Interest will continue to accrue on your loan during forbearance (even for the subsidized Federal Stafford Loan). Federal forbearances are available for borrowers experiencing financial hardship and other situations (credit paul). Private student loan forbearances vary by lender, so ask your lender what options are available for you.

If you’re having difficulties repaying your loan, it’s very important to talk with your lender about options and the paperwork you’ll need to apply for them. You don’t want to fall behind on payments, and a deferment or forbearance could help.

This entry was posted in Budgeting, Federal loans, Financial education, Money management, Paying, Post-college, Preparing, Private loans, Student loans, Wells Fargo Bank. Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Postpone your student loan repayment

  1. Jess says:

    I have been unemployed for some time now and can not make my private wells fargo student loan payment. Wells Fargo refuses to defer. I don’t know what to do, they don’t want to work with me at all. But I would like to work something out with them. any suggestions?

    • Barbara Raus says:

      Jess – Would you contact us through the Ask the Expert function (link on the right sidebar)? If you give us some more information about your account we can look into the details and hopefully find a solution for you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    My daughter is working one year for Americorp – City Year and was told that she had forbearance for that year. Is that the case for a Wells fargo loan?

    • Barbara Raus says:

      Hi there — It depends what type of loan your daughter has with Wells Fargo. There are options to postpone federal student loan payments with a Public Service Deferment. Best bet would be for your daughter to call in so a representative can look at the details of her account and advise of the best option.

  3. Anna conner says:

    I’m currently on bed rest due to threats of preterm labor and recent cervical surgery. I am unable to work and have the medical paperwork to prove it. Wells Fargo is refusing to give me a deferment because I’ve had one in the past. I was told that they don’t have a temporary disability program to offer their customers, which is beyond shocking to me. I’ve offered to pay what I have to keep them from selling my loan to a third party that will possibly start legal action against me to garnish my cosigners wages as well as my future wages but they are unwilling to accept anything but the full monthly payment. This payment is $600 a month and I have no idea where I can come up with this. At this point my baby is the most important thing on my mind. My husband and I are struggling to pay our bills with just his income.
    I’m not sure what to do. Help!!!

    • Barbara says:

      Hi Anna –I’d like to have our Executive Office take a look at your situation. Please send us an email via the Ask the Expert link at the right of the page so we can do so.

  4. Marilyn Casler says:

    My daughter has graduated December, 2012 and has not been able to find a teaching job full time. Her loans will start to be due in June. One is a private loan with Wells Fargo for $18,000.00. Will she be able to get a deferance for a short time until she can find employment? She will not be able to pay and I am the cosignor and I have lost my job so we are both in a financial crisis. What should be be and how should be go about this?

    • Katie says:

      Hey Marilyn – would you shoot us an email through Ask the Expert (the links on the right hand side of the page) so we can pull your account details to better understand your situation? From there we’ll be able to see what options there may be.

  5. Adam says:

    I am working part time and don’t start my full time job for another month or two. I am already paying one of my wells Fargo student loans. I just got the other statement in the mail for a much larger amount that I can’t afford for a while. I was wondering if someone can help with my situation

    • Nancy says:

      Hi Adam-Would you shoot us an email through Ask the Expert (the links on the right hand side of the page) and someone can get back in touch regarding this matter?

  6. Megan says:

    I had an in-school forbearance on my private student loan from Wells Fargo while I was finishing my BA. Now that I am enrolling in law school, Wells Fargo is saying that my loan is not eligible for in-school forbearance anymore?? I have never heard of this. They said I was only allowed up to 4 years of in-school forbearance. If I had known I would have made arrangements to make sure I could keep paying this while I was in law school, but I only have Federal loans for income and I can’t make payments on this loan with those. The person I spoke with said if I don’t pay the loan then it will go into default and it will send in me into collections, but what am I supposed to do if I have no way to make the payments? There must be something I can do. Can you help?

    • Nancy says:

      Hi Megan, would you please contact us at 1-800-658-3567 or shoot as an email at and click “Contact Us” so we can pull your account details to better understand your situation? From there we will be able to see if there are any other options for you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi Nancy. I emailed Wells Fargo as you suggested. I was asked to provide the name of my school and when I would be able to start making payments again. I provided this information, and received a message that an enrollment verification would be required to further consider my request, and that the verification would be available through the clearinghouse. I waited for this information to become available to your institution but never received a response. I called to verify the information had become available through the clearinghouse and asked the rep to forward the information to the appropriate department so that my request could be further considered, but then got a letter that my loan was deferred for only 3 months, 2 of which I already made payments for. My request was not considered at all; the agent I spoke with on the phone put the loan on forbearance/deferment when I didn’t ask him to. Now I have tried to get back in contact with the same person who was helping me before by referencing the conversation with reference number, but I just keep getting the same message about an enrollment verification being required and that it will be available through the clearinghouse. Can I actually get someone to help me? I cannot afford to repay this loan for the first year of law school. I will be able to make payments starting my second year. What is so difficult about extending the forbearance/deferment for 1 year?

        • Dana says:

          Hi -would you please contact Janelle Ellis in our Executive Office at 1-605-575-4490? She will be able to pull your account details to better understand your situation. From there we will be able to assist you.

  7. McKenzie says:

    Hi, My son had gotten 2 private loans from bank when he signed fro his loans, he signed for his loans to be differed, apparently Wells Fargo bought the loan from this other bank and sending my son a statement to pay. My son is not even working as yet. How is he going to pay this loan back when they have not even given him the opportunity to find a job. In the first place he did not take this loan out with Wells Fargo , but yet when he called them their attitude was , this is their policy and it has to be paid. They were aware that he was in college full time not even part time. This is crazy. Give these kids the opportunity to find jobs first. What should he do ? obviously he is not working yet ?

    • Nancy says:

      Thanks for your question McKenzie…hmmm not sure what is going on here. Could you please contact us at 1-800-658-3567 or shoot as an email at and click “Contact Us” so we can review your son’s account to better understand your situation? From there we will be able to see if there are any other options for him. We look forward to talking to you!

  8. Ryan says:

    Hi there, I’m in a similar situation as several others. I have two private loans that were dispersed at the beginning of my combined MD/PhD program that is 8 years in length. I had no idea when the loans were disbursed that the maximum in-school deferment was 4 years. I have called customer service and, at their direction, spent dozens of hours accumulating information that was supposedly needed to give me an exception to the 4-year policy. Now I’m being denied an extension and I’m in a lot of trouble because I can’t get a job until I finish my MD and there’s no way for me to pay this loan. I tried emailing the expert via the link above, and they just told me to call again and talk to someone else who told me they can give me a two month extension if I pay $500 first? Very confused and desperate for help!

  9. Ashley says:

    I graduated in the winter of 2007. I am now going to grad school this fall. I just found out that I am not eligible for forbearance since I don’t notify Wells Fargo 90 days after graduation. How was I supposed to know I want to go to grad school five years later?! I don’t know how I am going to pay for tuition, and everyday expenses with these massive payments. is there any kind of forbearance or anything I can do? I don’t want to take out a loan to pay another loan.

  10. Destanie says:

    I am having an issue with my student loans. I went to school for 2 years in 2004 graduated with my BS in 2006 which I used your loans to achieve. After working for a few years I went back to school in 2010 in order to get a better degree. When doing this I put my school laons into in school forbarance, I was never told there was a 4 year life time of the loan in school maximum and nor can I find that in any of my paperwork. On your information page about Colegiate loans it says a 7 year maximum and the forbarance paperwork only states that the application is only goof for 24 month period, but it does not say, not to exceed 48 months. For what I am going to school for now I just completed 2 years of my prerequisites and still have 2-3 years left of school. I am also in the middle of a high risk pregnancy that prohibits me from working. I tried to talk to customer service yesterday. But I need help. I can not afford to pay these loans back without furthering my education to have a high paying job. In order to use my BAS I would have needed a PhD which we could not afford for me to do with out a ton more loans and of course that takes over “4 years” of school start to finish. I tried to call the 1-605-575-4490 you listed as a contact for the Exectutive Office Janelle Ellis, but that number did not work. I am as confused and in need of help as all these other people who seem to have had this isssue in the last few months.

  11. khr says:

    I will be serving in Americorp for a year. I have a consolidated student loan with Wells Fargo and I know that they are not very flexible with forbearance or deferment. I did do a finical hardship for 2 months when I was doing an unpaid internship, but I have been back paying my loan for about 3 months now. As you know Americorp does not get you rich it is for community involvement and enrichment. Being able to live, meaning eat and a roof over my head will be impossible while paying the loan at the amount I am paying. A forbearance would be nice but if I could reduce the payment that would be be just as good and no I am not talking about refinancing the loan. Any help/suggestions?

  12. Kara Kattau says:

    I have a private loan originated through Wachovia, I believe. It is now with AES. I called customer service to see if I could defer while in AmeriCorps. I was told yes, up to 4 years(while enrolled). I was accepted sent in my paperwork and didnt find out that I was given the wrong information and that deferment was not an option and I was told in error, until after I have been serving for almost a month. The non stop late payment calls started and that was how i found out. I left unemployment for this opportunity or another much higher paying job based on being told by AES I could defer while in AmeriCorps. How can they get away with this? I have to now leave the program because my living stipend does not provide enough money. Their employees have created such a mess in my life! Could some one please help!!!

    • Dana says:

      Hi Kara – Sorry to hear of your situation. I’d recommend you talk with AES again as they will be able to give you the most accurate details concerning your loan and what options maybe available to you. They do have an escalation process if you don’t feel like your concern has been adequately addressed.

  13. Anna says:

    My husband has a private student loan with Wells Fargo for $25,000. He stopped going to college full-time several years ago, but was still taking classes and had the loan in deferment until last month, at which point Wells Fargo notified us that deferment while in school can only be applied for 4 years (which we didn’t know, and would have prepared for if we did.) Now Wells Fargo is saying he must pay over $600 a month or he will default, but we cannot afford to pay that (I am still in school, and am dealing with extensive medical issues that sap our finances.) We would be able to make some monthly payments, but the rep he spoke with on the phone said there is nothing we can do to either further postpone the payments or make smaller payments. Any advice?

  14. Jon says:

    I have a private student loan through Wells Fargo. I have a degree in criminal justice, but due to an injury I have to find a different career path and have started back to college full-time to pursue a new degree. I am going to an approved school and my enrollment has been verified, yet Wells Fargo is still telling me that my deferment has been denied. What can I do? I cannot make the payment as I have cut back hours at work and cannot afford the payments. I tried logging into my account and e-mailing but it will not let me send it for some reason.

  15. Anonymous says:

    My son called Wells Fargo about deferring his private loan payments until he gets a full time job. The customer service rep said he wanted the first payment before they will even talk about a deferment/forbearance. My son told the guy he barely makes 300 a month and your employee said you better ask your parents! What kind of customer service is this. I am a customer service rep for a software company and I would be fired for speaking to any customer the way your rep spoke to my son. He said he already had to live with his parents to eat and your employee refused to even help him.

  16. Brittany says:


    I had to pull out of school a year ago due to my finances and now cannot pay my private student loan for the same reason. My loan originated at NextStudent and ended up here after Lehman Brothers folded. After reading all the information on your website I gather that deferment/forbearance is only granted for while in school. Are there any options for economic hardship? After paying my monthly bills I barely have $50 to my name. My account was just brought current but I do not make enough money to make the payments.

  17. KP says:

    Hi, I lost got laid off from my job just recently. My family is going through financial hardship right now. I called but unfortunately I had a hardship forbearance done recently so I cannot get a forbearance until January 2014. Is there anything you guys can do to help my situation until I can find another job?

  18. John says:

    I was just activated for training for the National Guard for the next 6 months. I have a private student loan through Wells Fargo. I am still in the grace period but will be coming off it soon and will be making making a lower income in the guard then while working my civilian job, and there will also be times that I will be out in the field with no internet service. On top of all of that, I am not getting paid because of the recent government shut down (not because the government wont pay me, but because there are no civilians working to file my paper work for me to start getting paid). What can I do?

    • studentloandown says:

      John- On behalf of Wells Fargo, I’d like to thank you for your service to our country. Would you please contact us at 1-800-658-3567 or shoot as an email at and click “Contact Us” so we can pull your account to better understand your situation?

  19. Jonathan says:

    I have cosigned for my brothers private student loans through Wells Fargo which he needs to begin paying within the next few months. He graduated in May 2013 and got a job in early July. However, within a month, his job was eliminated and he has been unable to find employment since. To make matters worse, our mother had a massive stroke his first week on the job and since he lives at home still, has been her primary caregiver. Our mother has been on long term disability for a few years now so she has been unable to work as well. Is there anything that can be done to delay the start of his payment while our mother recuperates and he continues to look for a job? I’m nervous that, based off prior comments, this obligation will fall on me, which would be a massive burden on top of my own loans.

    • studentloandown says:

      Hi Jonathan- Sorry to hear of your situation. As you may have seen in prior comments and posts, cosigners are equally responsible for repayment of the loan, so if your brother cannot pay, it would fall to you as his cosigner. We do offer some options for hardship forbearance; please contact us at 1-800-658-3567 or email us at and click “Contact Us.” From there we can pull up your account to see what options may be available based on your individual situation.

  20. Kristen says:

    I am currently enrolled in graduate school full time, however I am in repayment with Wells Fargo for an undergraduate loan and they will not grant me in school forbearance even though I do not have a job because I am in school full time. I have spoken to several customer service representatives and they seem to keep giving me contradictory information. I have made one payment because I was told I needed to do so in order to continue forbearance however they have me still entered in repayment. I have no idea what to do.

  21. Aneela says:

    Hi I’m currently enrolled in medical school . I had loans from Wells Fargo which I had to submitt a forbearance form. They approved it and i went in with continuing my education. The forbearance expired and they told me to do a letter of forbeance again, so I refilled it with the. Same school I’m in . I was told as long as I’m in school with the same school I would be approved, all of a sudden my letter came back denied because it’s not a tidal 4 school . It was never a tidal 4. School. They told me they made a mistake and that this school should never have been approved in the first place . I told them I’m in the middle if schooling, they made a mistake but I still have two years left and there is no way I can make a payment now. I have no idea what to do because I’m in the middle of med school. Please let me know if you have any suggestion or if you know anyone who could help. Thank you

  22. Shannon says:

    I have been forced to take a year off from school and am now working full time (at Dunkin) to try to save up for school in the fall. Wells Fargo says that I cannot apply for financial hardship without an upfront $700 payment. I dont know what to do because with rent and everything else I won’t be able to pay for it. What do I do? They are no help at all.

  23. Yessie says:

    I have lost my job and I got denied forebarence and loan consolidation. What should I do? Please help

  24. JC says:

    Hello, I am trying to get a student loan deferment due to unemployment, but I don´t know where to send the paperwork. Can somebody help with some info or a phone number to call? thanks, appreciate it!

The Student LoanDown

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