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What are my repayment options and what if I cannot make a payment? | Student Loan Refinancing

This article provides options for those with a refinanced student loan. If you are looking for your options on a private student loan, check here.

Repayment options

Standard Repayment Plan

This plan is designated to you as part of your loan agreement with Earnest. 

Having difficulty making payments?

If you're unable to make your payments, there may be options available to you. Some of the following options may have eligibility standards and documentation may need to be provided. If the options listed do not meet your unique circumstance or you need additional support, there may be alternative repayment and relief options available to you through our Navient partners. To discuss personalized repayment options with their team, feel free to give them a call Monday through Friday, 5 AM to 4 PM PT (8 AM to 7 PM EST) at 855-203-4596. While you decide which option is best for you, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Your total loan cost will typically be greater over time than the standard repayment plan.
  • You may be required to demonstrate your intent to repay your loan by making one or more payments prior to approval.
  • Forbearance may be used in connection with the program to bring delinquent loans current.
  • Accruing interest during forbearance continues to remain your responsibility. Unpaid interest may be capitalized (added to the unpaid principal) as often as quarterly during the forbearance and again and the end of forbearance. Capitalization may increase your monthly payment amount and total loan cost.

In school or enrolling in school?

If you attend a Title-IV accredited, not-for-profit school program at least half-time, you may be eligible for deferment. This will postpone your Earnest loan payments for a period of time, but the loan will continue to accrue interest. It’s important to note that we are only able to offer deferment if you are the primary borrower returning to school, not the cosigner. You can check here for more information.

In the military?

We offer military deferment and SCRA benefits to eligible service members. Check here for further information.

Short-Term Interest-Only 

This program will allow you to make a lower (interest-only) payment on your loan in 3- month increments, up to 24 months total. Paying just the interest that accrues will prevent the post-program monthly or biweekly payment(s) from significantly rising by extending the term of your loan by the same number of months this program is utilized (up to 24 months). Making a payment, even a reduced one, is always the best long-term as interest continues to accrue. You can find more information on Short-Term Interest-Only payment relief here.


Unexpected life events can affect your budget, so we offer you the ability to skip one payment through a single, one-month forbearance during a 12-month period. Your first request to skip a payment can be made once you've made at least 6 months of consecutive on-time full principal and interest payments, and your loan is in good standing. You can start your request for a Skip-A-Payment here.


In certain situations, you may qualify for forbearance, a protection offered by Earnest for clients who are experiencing temporary financial hardship. During forbearance, simple daily interest continues to accrue on your loan. More information on forbearance can be found here.

Loan forgiveness and discharge

In the unfortunate event of death or total and permanent disability of the primary borrower, Earnest will discharge all student loans. 

We're here to assist and help find the option most suitable for you. Contact us by clicking "Get In Touch" found at the bottom of this article.

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