You are entitled to a one-time 6-month grace period for your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford loans and a 9-month grace period for your Perkins loans before monthly payments will be required. If you’re having difficulty making your payments once billing has begun, you may be able to postpone them under certain circumstances.

The government has a variety of ways to help you if you can’t make your monthly loan payment. Although the details for each loan program vary, under some conditions you may receive a deferment or forbearance that allows you to temporarily stop making payments. For example, you may qualify for a deferment if you return to school at least half-time, are unemployed, are called to active duty military during a war, or are experiencing an economic hardship as defined in federal regulations.

You can check with your loan servicer for a list of deferment options for federal loans. If you have Perkins, Health Profession, Primary Care, or Nursing Loans, you should check with the UW Servicer for deferments that apply to those loan programs.

Check your servicer’s website for loan deferment forms that you can download or request from them. Once you have the form, it should be submitted to the UW Registrar’s Office for completion.

If you don’t qualify for a deferment but are temporarily unable to make loan payments for reasons such as illness or financial hardship, you may be granted a forbearance and will not have to make loan payments for a set period of time. For all Direct Loans and Perkins Loans, interest that accrues during forbearance is the responsibility of the borrower. For information regarding a forbearance due to the coronavirus, please click here.

Contact your billing servicer for assistance as soon as possible if you’re unable to meet your payment by the scheduled due date. If you are unsure who services your loan, check at for information and links to your Direct Loan Servicer.