If you are having difficulties paying back your student loans, there are steps you can take to reduce or defer your payments for up to three years.
The steps are as follows:
1. Contact the lender's collections department immediately, as soon as the problem occurs. Inform them of your financial difficulties.
2. If you can't afford to make payments at all, request a deferment until a later date when your financial position changes. Sometimes the lender will grant you a forbearance up to three years in cases where you are unemployed, laid-off from your job, or your income is barely covering your necessary living expenses.
3. The lender will require you to fill out a form listing all of your current financial obligations and will make their determination to grant your request for their evaluation.
4. If you are ill or temporarily disabled, the lender may defer payments for as long as your illness or disability exists.
5. If you are permanently disabled or have a chronic illness, you can file a claim permanently releasing you from making payments.
It is best to assess your financial position accurately before giving the lender a date when you can start making payments. If you don't, a deferment may not be available if you've used up your time limit.
If you default on your government student loan, your income and tax refund check may be placed in garnishment each year until the balance of the loan is depleted.