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Deferment Options

Student Deferments
Federal Perkins Loan Deferments
Federal Nursing Loan Deferments
Vanderbilt University Medical School Loan Deferments
Federal Nurse Faculty Loan Deferments
Economic Hardship, Unemployment Deferments and Forbearance

Student Deferments:

Federal Perkins Loans: Deferments can be granted one semester at a time while a borrower is enrolled for at least a half-time course load.

Federal Nursing Loans: Deferments can be granted one semester at a time while a borrower is enrolled for at least a half-time course load in nursing studies for up to ten years.

All other Vanderbilt institutional loans (except 7% School of Nursing Loans): Deferments can be granted one semester at a time while a borrower is enrolled for a full-time course load.


Applying for deferment
Acceptance requires certification of enrollment status by the registrar's office at your college or university.

Print and complete this deferment form

Other Federal Perkins Loan Deferments:

Graduate Fellowship Deferments: Deferments can be granted one year at a time while a borrower is enrolled and in attendance as a regular student in a course of study that is part of a graduate fellowship program approved by the Department of Education, including graduate or postgraduate fellowship-supported study (such as a Fulbright grant) outside the United States. An eligible graduate fellowship program is a fellowship program that meets the following criteria: 1) provides sufficient financial support to graduate fellows to allow for full-time study for at least six months; 2) requires a written statement from each applicant explaining the applicant's objectives before the award of that financial support; 3) requires a graduate fellow to submit periodic reports, projects, or evidence of the fellow's progress; and 4) in the case of a course of study at a foreign university, accepts the course of study for completion of the fellowship program.

Rehabilitation Training Deferments: Deferments can be granted one year at a time while a borrower is enrolled in a course of study that is part of a Department of Education-approved rehabilitation training program for disabled individuals. The borrower must also provide certification that the agency is licensed, approved, certified or otherwise recognized by the state agency responsible for programs in vocational rehabilitation, drug abuse treatment, mental health services or alcohol abuse treatment; or by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Further documentation is required stating that the agency provides or will provide the borrower rehabilitation services under a written plan that is individualized to meet the borrower's needs, specifies the date that services will end and is structured in a way that requires substantial commitment from the borrower. A substantial commitment from the borrower is a commitment of time and effort that would normally prevent the borrower from holding a full-time job either because of the number of hours that must be devoted to rehabilitation or because of the nature of the rehabilitation.

Active Duty Military Deferments: Deferments can be granted one year at a time while a borrower serving on active duty or performing qualifying National Guard duty in connection with a war, military operation, or national emergency. Documentation establishing eligible active duty service may include a copy of the borrower's military orders, or a written statement from the borrower's commanding officer or personnel officer that the borrower is serving in an eligible capacity.

The overall 3-year limit for this deferment was eliminated in October of 2007, as was the provision that limited the availability of the deferment to loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2001. A borrower may receive deferment for all eligible outstanding loans in repayment as of October 1, 2007. A borrower whose deferment eligibility had expired due to the prior 3-year limitation and who was still serving on eligible active duty on or after October 1, 2007 may receive the deferment retroactively from the date the prior deferment expired until the end of the borrower’s active duty service.

Effective October 1, 2007, the deferment now is extended 180 days for qualifying periods of service that include October 1, 2007 or that begin on or after that date. This additional period is available each time a borrower is demobilized at the conclusion of qualifying service. This additional 180 day deferment may not be granted without documentation supporting the borrower’s claim of end-of-military-service date.

Military and Volunteer Service Deferments (Federal Perkins Loans made before July 1, 1993 only): Deferments can be granted one year at a time for a period not to exceed three years while a borrower is: 1) on full-time active duty in the Armed Forces or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps; 2) in volunteer service as a member of the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps*VISTA or 3) an officer in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service.

Internship and Residency Deferments (Federal Perkins Loans made before July 1, 1993 only): Deferments can be granted one year at a time for a period not to exceed two years while a borrower is: 1) serving in an internship program which is required in order to receive professional recognition required to begin professional practice or 2) serving in an internship or residency program leading to a degree or certificate awarded by an institution of higher education, a hospital, or a health care facility that offers postgraduate training.

Parenting Deferments (Federal Perkins Loans made before July 1, 1993 only): Deferments can be granted during a period of up to one year if a borrower is a mother of a pre-school 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. A borrower may also defer repayment for up to six 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.

Temporary Total Disability Deferments (Federal Perkins Loans made before July 1, 1993 only):
An affidavit from a qualified physician is required to prove disability. A borrower is temporarily totally disabled if he or she is, due to illness or injury, unable to attend an eligible school or to be gainfully employed during a reasonable period of recovery.

A borrower may receive deferment for temporary total disability of a spouse or dependent if the spouse or dependent requires continuous nursing or other services from the borrower for a period of at least three months due to illness or injury. The definition of dependent for temporary total disability deferment purposes is the same as the definition used in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for a member of the independent applicant's household: A borrower's dependent is a child who receives more than half of his or her financial support from the borrower or another person who lives with the borrower and who receives more than half of his or her financial support from the borrower.

Please contact the Office of Student Loans for details.


Applying for deferment
Acceptance requires certification of employment or service status by one of the following.

Armed Forces - your commanding officer
Peace Corps - Division of Volunteer Support, Peace Corps, Washington, DC
VISTA - Division of Field Operations, VISTA, Washington, DC
U.S. Public Health Service - Health Resources & Services Admin., Rockville, MD
Internship or residency - the director of the internship/residency program

Print and complete this deferment form

Other Federal Nursing Loan Deferments:

Military and Volunteer Service Deferments: Deferments can be granted one year at a time for a period not to exceed three years while a borrower is: 1) on full-time active duty in the Armed Forces or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps; 2) in volunteer service as a member of the Peace Corps or 3) an officer in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service.

Advanced Professional Training Deferments: Deferments can be granted one year at a time while a borrower is pursuing advanced training in nursing or are engaged in training to become a nurse anesthetist. The regulations define advanced training in nursing as full-time or half-time training beyond the borrower's first diploma or degree in nursing. Advanced training must take one year or longer to complete and strengthen the borrower's skills in the provision of nursing services. A borrower may not obtain more than ten years of deferment for full-time or half-time enrollment and advanced professional training combined. For example, if a borrower deferred a Federal Nursing Loan for five years on the basis of full-time student status, that he or she would only be able to obtain another five years of deferment for advanced professional training.

Applying for deferment:
Acceptance requires certification of employment or service status by one of the following.

Deferment Certification
Armed Forces - your commanding officer
Peace Corps - Division of Volunteer Support, Peace Corps, Washington, DC
U.S. Public Health Service - Health Resources & Services Admin., Rockville, MD
Advanced professional training - the director of the professional training program

Print and complete this deferment form

Vanderbilt University Medical School Loan Deferments:

Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL), Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS) and Vanderbilt University Medical School institutional loans:

Internship and Residency Deferments: Deferments can be granted one year at a time while a borrower pursues advanced professional training, including internships and residencies. Vanderbilt University institutional loans with a 7% interest rate have a maximum of three years allowed for this deferment.

Fellowship Training Deferment: Deferments can be granted one year at a time for a period not to exceed three years while a borrower participates in a fellowship training program or full-time educational activity, as defined by regulations of the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Vanderbilt University institutional loans with a 7% interest rate are not eligible for this deferment.

Student Deferments: Deferments can be granted one year at a time if a borrower pursues a full-time course of study at a health professions school eligible for participation in the HPSL program.

Leave of Absence Deferments: Deferments can be granted for a period not to exceed two years if a borrower leaves Vanderbilt University with the intent to return as a full-time student to engage in a full-time educational activity which is directly related to the health profession for which he or she is preparing.

Military and Volunteer Service Deferments: Deferments can be granted one year at a time for a period not to exceed three years while a borrower is 1) on full-time active duty in the Armed Forces or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps; 2) in volunteer service as a member of the Peace Corps or 3) an officer in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service.

Print and complete this deferment form


Primary Care Loans (PCL):

Internship and Residency Deferments: Deferments can be granted one year at a time while a borrower participates in 1) a three year residency program in allopathic or osteopathic family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, combined medicine/pediatrics, or preventive medicine approved by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), or in a rotating or primary health care internship and general practice residency program approved by the AOA; or 2) participates in a residency program in General Dentistry.

Print and complete this deferment form

Federal Nurse Faculty Loan Deferments:

Deferments may be granted one year at a time for a period not to exceed three years while a borrower is ordered to active duty as a member of a uniformed service of the United States (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps, or the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps). Borrowers who voluntarily joins a uniformed service are not eligible for deferment, nor are borrowers who are employed by one of the uniformed services in a civilian capacity.

Print and complete this deferment form

Economic Hardship Deferments, Unemployment Deferments:

Short-term deferments and forbearances can be granted to assist borrowers through periods of temporary economic difficulty. Eligibility is determined by the Office of Student Loans and all requests should be made in writing.

A Perkins Loan borrower is entitled to an economic hardship deferment for periods up to one year at a time, not to exceed three years cumulatively, if certain criteria are met. Print and complete this deferment form.

A Perkins Loan borrower may defer repayment for up to three years if the borrower is seeking and is unable to find full-time employment. Print and complete this deferment form.

For economic hardship forbearance, up to three years, of Medical School Loans, print and complete this forbearance form

For forbearance of all other institutional loans, up to three years, mail, fax or email a written request to our office.


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