Is it okay to defer?
March 27, 2012 11:16 AM   Subscribe

If I take a economic hardship deferment for my federal student loans, will that make it harder for me to get student loans in the future?

I'm not sure if these details are necessary, but just in case: I have subsidized and unsubsidized federal student loans. I'm planning to go to grad school within the next few years, so it's important that I'm still able to access student loans. I heard from a friend or two that deferral won't cause a problem with that, but I just wanted to get more of a definitive answer than that.
posted by overglow to Education (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I would call the financial aid office of the school you graduated from and ask someone there. As a former university administrator in another area who regularly met with the head of financial aid in management team meetings, I have never heard of this, but I would check with a financial aid professional. They will know.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:20 AM on March 27, 2012

I'm pretty sure that federal student loans are need-based and don't actually have any other qualifications. Unless you are in default, apparently, according to the FAQ on FAFSA's site.

In order to receive federal student aid there are requirements.

The following is a list of some of the requirements:

You must be a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen of the United States with a valid Social Security Number (SSN).
You must have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, complete homeschooling, or pass an approved "ability to benefit" test.
You must enroll in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate.
You must be making satisfactory academic progress.
If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25, you must register or already be registered with Selective Service. You must also register if you are not currently on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. If you are a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands or the Republic of Palau you are exempt from registering (see for more information).
If you have been convicted for the possession or sale of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid (such as grants, loans, or work-study), you must complete the Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet to determine if you are Eligible for aid or Partially Eligible for aid.
You must not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on a federal education loan.
You must have financial need (except for unsubsidized Stafford loans).
posted by DoubleLune at 11:25 AM on March 27, 2012

Best answer: I went through this. The answer is "no".
posted by karathrace at 11:26 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm in the same position as you, and I'm concerned that deferment may adversely affect my credit. This is an excerpt from a letter I just received from my (future) school's financial aid administrator:

If you think you may need to borrow loans in addition to the $20,500 available annually via the Federal Direct Stafford loan program, you should be aware that the Graduate PLUS and private "alternative" loans use creditworthiness as one of the criteria for loan approval. If you are not sure how "clean" your credit rating is, I would suggest that prior to matriculation you secure a copy of your credit report from at least one of the three main credit bureaus.
posted by HotPatatta at 11:34 AM on March 27, 2012

Best answer: Gonna say 'no' too. I took the hardship deferment twice, and have since gotten another student loan.
posted by Partario at 12:43 PM on March 27, 2012

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