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What happens to my loan if I go back to school? | Private Student Loans

If you have a Private Student Loan with Earnest, we offer deferment for up to 48 months for students who return to school at a Title-IV accredited, not-for-profit school program for an undergraduate or graduate degree. We currently do not offer deferment for the Peace Corps, fellowships, or other similar programs. To be eligible for deferment, you must be enrolled at least half-time. Depending on the repayment option you selected within your application, payments may be fully deferred, or require monthly interest-only or $25 fixed payments during your In-School Deferment period. 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. Our team may request additional documentation to confirm your enrollment status. Acceptable forms of documentation include: 

  • An official letter on school letterhead confirming the start and end dates of the program you are enrolled in.
  • Verification form from the National Clearing House. (This option may require a small fee).

We also require a completed request form to process a deferment 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 “Referrals” from the left-side navigation menu. 
  3. Under Account select “Upload Documents.”
  4. Drop your file into the box and click "Save Changes" at the bottom. Please note that the maximum file capacity is 10MB.

Since we are not automatically notified when documents are uploaded, we ask that you reach out to notify your servicer.

All deferment requests must be received by Earnest at least five (5) business days before the date you are requesting the deferment begins. Requests received on or before the fifth business day prior to a payment due date will be implemented for your current payment. Starting on the fourth business day before, we'll file the request right away, but the change may or may not go into effect for your current payment. If filing the request at that point, please be prepared for the possibility that your auto-payment will be withdrawn or your manual payment will remain due. 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.

If I am in school or return to school, will I have a payment due?

The repayment option you selected in your application is the same repayment option that will apply during In-School Grace, In-School Deferment, and Residency/Internship Deferment. For example, if you selected Fixed $25 monthly payments as your in-school repayment option during your application, you will be required to make $25 monthly payments during In-School Deferments or Residency/Internship Deferment periods.

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