Student – Full time / Half-time

A borrower may defer repayment of a Perkins Load, NDSL, or National Defense Student Loan (Defense Loan) if he or she is enrolled at least half-time in an eligible institution. Interest will not accrue during the deferment. To receive a deferment based on at least half-time enrollment, also called in-school deferment, the student must be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible institution of higher education or a comparable institution outside the United States approved by the Department for deferment purposes. However, it is not a requirement that the school participate in the Federal Perkins Loan Program. If a borrower is attending a school that ceases to qualify as an institution of higher education, the borrower’s deferment ends on the date the school ceases to qualify. A regular student is one who is enrolled for the purpose of obtaining a degree or certificate. If the borrower is attending at least half time as a regular student for a full academic year and intends to do so in the next academic year, he or she is entitled to a deferment for 12 months.

Volunteer Peace Corps or Domestic Volunteer Act of 1973

A borrower may defer repayment for up to three years and interest will not accrue while he or she is a Peace Corps volunteer, a volunteer until Title I, Part A of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 (ACTION programs), or a full-time volunteer in service for a tax-exempt organization that the Department has determined is comparable to Peace Corps or ACTION service. A borrower is considered to be providing service comparable to Peace Corps or ACTIONS service if he or she meets all of the following five criteria:

  1. The borrower serves in an organization that is exempt from taxation under the provision of Section 501(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
  2. The borrower provides services to low-income person and their communities to assist them in eliminating poverty and poverty related human, social, and environmental conditions.
  3. The borrower does not receive compensation that exceeds the rate prescribed under Section 6 of the Fair labor Standards Act of 1938 (the federal minimum wage), except that the tax-exempt organization may provide the volunteer with health, retirement, and other fringe benefits that are substantially equivalent to the benefits offered to other employees of the organization.
  4. The borrower, as part of his or her duties, does not give religious instruction, conduct worship service, engage in religious proselytizing, or engage in fund raising to support religious activities.
  5. The borrower has agreed to serve on a full-time basis for a term of at least one year.

Full time member of Armed Forces

A borrower may defer repayment for up to three years and interest will not accrue while he or she is a member of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard, a member of the National Guard or the Reserves serving a period of full-time duty in the armed forces, or an officer in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service.

Internship or Residency

A borrower whose Perkins Loan was made before July 1, 1993 and who is serving in a medical internship or residency program is not considered to be in school for the deferment purposes and may not receive an in-school deferment on the Perkins Loan for the internship or residency program, however, the borrower is eligible for an internship deferment for up to two years. While the borrower is serving an eligible internship, he or she may defer repayment for up to two years. Interest will not accrue during the internship deferment. An eligible internship is one that requires the borrower to hold at least a bachelor’s degree before beginning the program; in addition, the internship must meet the criteria of either 1 or 2.

  1. The successful completion of the internship must be required by the state licensing agency as a prerequisite for certification of the individual for professional practice or service.
    1. A statement from an official of the appropriate state licensing agency indicating that the successful completion of the internship is required by the state licensing agency as a prerequisite for certification for professional practice or service.
    2. A statement from the organization where the borrower will be an intern certifying that attaining a bachelor’s degree is required to be admitted in the program.
    3. A statement from the organization where the borrower will be an intern indicating that the borrower has been accepted into its internship program and certification of the dates when the borrower is expected to begin and complete the program.
  2. The internship or residency program must lead to a degree or certificate awarded by an institution of higher education, a hospital, or health care facility offering postgraduate training. For this type of eligible internship, the borrower must provide the school with a statement from an authorized official of the internship program and the internship or residency program leads to a degree or certificate awarded by an institution of higher education, a hospital, or health care facility that offers postgraduate training.

A member of oceanic and atmospheric administration corp.

A borrower may defer repayment for up to three years and interest will not accrue while he or she is on full-time active duty as a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps.

Mother of pre-school age children who entered/reentered the work force, and is making $1.00 less above minimum wage

A borrower of a Perkins Loan made before July 1, 1993 may also defer repayment and interest will not accrue during a period up to one year if the borrower is a mother of a preschool-age child, provided the mother is going to work or going back to work, at a salary that is no more than $1.00 above the minimum hourly wage.

I am pregnant, caring for my newborn, or caring for a child immediately after adoption

A borrower of a Perkins Loan made before July 1, 1993 may also defer up to 6 months if the borrower is pregnant, or if he or she is taking care of a newborn or newly adopted child. The borrower must be unemployed and not attending school and must apply for deferment within six months of leaving school or dropping below half-time status.

Graduate / Fellowship

A borrower enrolled and in attendance as a regular student in the course of study that is part of a graduate fellowship program approved by the Department may defer payments. A borrower is engaged in graduate or postgraduate fellowship-supported study such as a Fulbright grant outside the United States.