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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.  To be eligible for deferment, you must be enrolled full-time if you are a college freshman, sophomore, or junior; or at least half-time for college seniors and graduate students. It’s important to note that we are unable to approve deferment if you have a cosigner and they have decided to return to school. 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, and click on your name in the right-hand corner.
  2. Select “Account Settings” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Under “Documents and 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.

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 If filing the request at that point, please be prepared for the possibility that your auto-payment will be withdrawn or your manual payment will remain due.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.

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