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What if I cannot make a payment on time?

All clients may extend an individual payment date up to 7 days past the originally scheduled date through their account. If you need to adjust your auto-payment date to better match your financial situation (for example, to align with paychecks), you can also move this up to 7 days through your Earnest account. If you need to move your auto-payment date more than 7 days, please note you will need to make a payment for the current billing period before the change takes effect. If you are returning to school and need your Earnest loan deferred, click here for more information.

In addition to payment changes, we offer our student loan refinancing clients the ability to skip a payment. After making 6 months of on-time payments, you may request to skip one month’s worth of payments — a single payment for clients on monthly schedules or two payments for clients paying biweekly. You may request to use this feature again after 12 months of on-time payments. Please be aware that any skipped payments will be re-amortized and spread among your remaining payments, and using this feature does count towards the forbearance limits outlined in your loan agreement. Forbearances are granted for a maximum of three (3) months per request with a total of twelve (12) months of forbearance for the life of your loan.

If none of these options fits your particular situation regarding payments, please contact our Client Happiness team immediately to discuss. In certain situations you may qualify for forbearance, a protection offered by Earnest for clients who are experiencing a documented and verifiable hardship. In most cases, these would include circumstances such as:

  • Involuntary decrease in income (e.g. reduction in hours, unpaid leave or change from full-time to part-time employment)
  • Involuntary loss of employment (defined as termination at no fault of the client)
  • Significant increase in costs that are essential to the home or family (e.g. increase in medical expenses, emergency home repairs or child care)

Please note that voluntary resignations from employment, outside of extenuating circumstances, would not qualify for forbearance. During all servicing requests, simple daily interest continues to accrue on your loan.

All forbearance requests must be received by Earnest at least five (5) business days prior to the date the forbearance begins.

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