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How can I apply for forbearance? | Student Loan Refinancing

If you're having difficulty making payments you can take a look at your possible options here.

In certain situations, you may qualify for forbearance, a protection offered by Earnest that temporarily postpones payments.  Forbearance helps clients that are experiencing documented and verifiable hardship. The most common kinds of forbearance include the following:

  • 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)
  • Unpaid maternity/paternity leave.

Clients with a student loan refinance are eligible for up to 12 months (including any Skip-A-Payments which are considered 1-month forbearances) of forbearance. To be eligible for hardship forbearance, you need to have first made at least three months of on-time, consecutive payments. Additional restrictions apply and are outlined in the forbearance request form at the bottom of this page. Please note that simple daily interest will continue to accrue on your loan while in forbearance.

We require a completed request form to process a forbearance request. The form is available at the bottom of this article. To apply, first download and complete the form. Then, upload the form into your Earnest profile. You can upload the form using the following directions:

  1. Sign in to your Earnest account. 
  2. Click “Refer a friend” from the left-side navigation menu. 
  3. Under "Documents & Uploads," find the "Offer Letter, Statement, or Other Document to upload" section.
  4. Drop your file into the box, select the document type of "Other," and click "Upload." Please note that the maximum file capacity is 10MB.
  5. Review and click the green box labeled "Save Changes" at the bottom.

Send us a quick email to let us know you've added the document. We are not automatically notified when documents are uploaded.

All forbearance requests must be received by Earnest at least five (5) business days before the date you are requesting the forbearance begins. If you do not hear back from our team within 5 business days of uploading your form, please reach out to us immediately for an update by clicking the "Get In Touch" button found at the bottom of this article.

Have more questions? Submit a request