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The standard repayment term for a Stafford loan is 10 years. You may be able to extend repayment by deferring or consolidating your Stafford loans. You can choose one of the following plans:
Forbearance is a tool to assist borrowers in meeting their loan repayment obligations. Lenders permit a temporary cessation of payments for an extension of time or temporarily accepts smaller payments.
Forbearance of payments is typically granted when the borrower is experiencing financial difficulty, but can be requested for any of the following reasons: (i) unemployment, (ii) partial disability, (iii) other documented hardship.
If the borrower is ineligible for a deferment, he/she can still receive forbearance. Unlike deferment, it doesn’t matter if the loans are subsidized or not.