If you receive public assistance, serve in the Peace Corps, or make less than the minimum wage or poverty guideline, you may defer payments.

To qualify for this deferment, your first loan must have been disbursed on or after July 1, 1993, and you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • You are receiving payments or benefits under a federal or state public assistance program
  • You are serving in the Peace Corps
  • You are working full-time but earning a monthly income that is less than the minimum wage rate or 150% of the poverty guideline for your family size, whichever is greater

If you have a combination of FFELP, Direct, and Perkins loans and you have been granted an economic hardship deferment on one of your federal loans but not on the others, you may receive an economic hardship deferment on your other federal loans by providing the loan holder with documentation of the economic deferment previously granted. The cumulative maximum time limit for this deferment is 36 months.