Mandatory Forbearance Request Student Loan Debt Burden

Chloe Meltzer

October 28, 2021

You may have debt, but you have options.

Summary: Thinking about pausing your student loan payments due to a recent hardship? Find out if a student loan forbearance request is the right choice for you.

For anyone that is suffering from serious financial struggles, forbearance can be an option. Essentially, a forbearance request grants a pause on paying your student loan payments. Although this might seem like an amazing option for someone who is struggling, it is not always what it seems. Putting your loans into forbearance does not mean you simply get away with not paying, and it can eventually be expensive in the long run.

If you truly think that you will not be able to make your payments for the next few months, having a repayment plan is a better option. These can be based on your income, and a percentage to be paid out as you are given a paycheck. This option changes your monthly payment according to what you are making and does not eliminate your ability to have loans forgiven after 20-30 years.

If it does not work for your situation to make a permanent change, then you may look into temporary forbearance. Despite this being an option, there are a few things that you need to know before ultimately making your decision.

The first thing you need to consider about student loan forbearance is whether or not you have acquired federal or private student loans. In some cases, forbearance will work differently, and in other cases, it may not even be available for you.

Use SoloSuit to respond to a debt collection lawsuit in 15 minutes.

Federal student loan forbearance

Over 90% of student loans in the United States are from the federal government. There are specific rules when it comes to forbearance on federal student loans, so this is something you should look into if you have federal loans.

For example, If you have a qualifying reason such as financial hardship, then you can simply ask to be put into forbearance. Although there is an application, including filling out a form and providing documentation, it is pretty simple. If you are approved you will be given a pause for 12 months on paying your student loan payments.

The downside to being put into forbearance is that even though you are not paying on your loan, interest will still pile up. This means your balance will increase, and you will have more to pay than before you went into forbearance. It will also push your student loan forgiveness eligibility back. This is due to needing to make a specific number of payments before qualifying (usually 120).

Typically federal student loans offer two different forms of forbearance, general and mandatory.

General forbearance

General forbearance is known as being the easiest form of temporary help to obtain, it is available for when you are struggling with sudden financial difficulties. For example, if you have suddenly become unemployed, changed jobs, or are suffering from medical debt, you may qualify. Even if you do not suffer from one of these problems, you can still apply for any “other reasons acceptable to your loan servicer.”

Most often general forbearance is given for 12 months at a time. If you make no payments during this duration and are still unable to pay at the end of the period, you can reapply for another 12 months. This can only be extended for a total period of three years.

Mandatory forbearance

Mandatory forbearance is for specific situations. These are granted in 12-month periods, but they do not have a limit for how long you can extend.

  • Americorps: if you are serving in AmeriCorps, and you meet specific criteria, then you are automatically granted forbearance. This is because you are serving, and most likely making very minimal income.
  • DOD Repayment Program: Other types of mandatory forbearance include the department of Defense student loan repayment program, which is offered as an employee of the Department of Defense. If you are on a student loan repayment program through your employer, then you should be able to qualify for forbearance.
  • Medical/dental internship or residency: For health professionals going through training, you may not qualify for a deferment on your loans. Instead, you can apply for a forbearance program.
  • National Guard duty: If you do not qualify for a military deferment, then you may be able to apply. The catch is that you must have been called for service by a governor.
  • Student loans making up 20% or more of income: If your student loan payments make up 20% or more of your total income, then you may be qualified to have them placed into forbearance.

Make the right defense with SoloSuit and win your debt collection lawsuit.

Private student loan forbearance

Since more than 90% of all student loans in the United States are federal loans, it means that around 10% of all student loans are private. Private student loans are owned by individual lenders. This is similar to that of a mortgage loan or a car loan.

Private student loan forbearance is completely up to the lender. If they even offer the option, they can set their application process and requirements. They also decide how long it lasts.

Typically private student loans are not as adaptable as federal student loans are. It is essential for anyone with a private student loan to contact their lender and see what options are even available.

Ramifications of choosing student loan forbearance

If you are struggling financially then student loan forbearance is often seen as an attractive option because it is easy to qualify for. Despite this, there are many ramifications of choosing this option. If you are not prepared to pay more on your loan after forbearance is up, then you might also be surprised when your loan balance balloons, or when you are not able to utilize the loan forgiveness program later on.

Forbearance is usually the more expensive option when you think about it long term. Especially for those who have a large amount of debt, such as medical debt. If you have $100,000 in debt at a 5% interest rate, after a year in forbearance you will owe $5,000 more once you start paying on it. This is why a long-term payment plan is often a better option.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.

Respond with SoloSuit

"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James


Get Started


>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance

How to answer a summons for debt collection in your state

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.

Guides on how to beat every debt collector

Being sued by a different debt collector? We're making guides on how to beat each one.

Win against credit card companies

Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.

Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips

How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts

How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide

Get answers to these FAQs

Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.

Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?

How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?

What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?

Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?

SoloSuit FAQ

If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?

Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?

Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?

Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?

What is a default judgment?— What do I do?

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?

What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?

What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?

What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency

What is a Stipulated Judgment?

What is the Deadline for a Defendant's Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?

Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?

Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?

Can I Stop Wage Garnishment?

Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?

Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?

Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?

Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide

Am I Responsible for My Spouse's Medical Debt?

Should I Marry Someone With Debt?

Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?

What Is a Warrant in Debt?

How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?

Can an Eviction Be Reversed?

Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?

What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?

Does Student Debt Die With You?

Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?

How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?

How Long Does a Judgment Last?

Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?

Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?

Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?

The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?

Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?

Do I Need a Debt Negotiator?

What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?

Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?

Learn More With These Additional Resources:

Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.

How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide

How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney

How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know

How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)

Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector

Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency

Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.

Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit

New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt

Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors

The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah

West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt

What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained

Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector

How to Liquidate Debt

Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt

You're Drowning in Debt — Here's How to Swim

Help! I'm Being Sued by My Debt Collector

How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment

How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont

North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

ClearPoint Debt Management Review

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt

Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say

CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review

How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter

How to Appear in Court by Phone

How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands

Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next

How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement

Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Here's What to Do

How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection

Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt

Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa

How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court

Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review

How to Stop a Garnishment

Debt Eraser Review

Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?

Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?

How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?

How Long Does a Judgement Last?

​​How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?

How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court