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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. 

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 every 12 months. Your first request to skip a payment can be made once you've made at least 6 months of consecutive on-time 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 a documented and verifiable hardship. During forbearance, simple daily interest continues to accrue on your loan. More information on forbearance can be found here.

In grad school or enrolling in grad school?

If you’re going back to grad school at least half-time, you may be eligible for deferment, which postpones your Earnest loan payments for a period of time. During deferment, your loan will continue to accrue interest.

In the military?

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

Loan forgiveness and discharge

In the unfortunate event of death or total and permanent disability, 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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