Forbearance Letter for Student Loans: Free & Effective

Here’s a step-by-step guide based on my personal experience, complete with a template you can use to write your own forbearance letter. Let’s dive in.

Key Takeaways

  • Forbearance: Temporary suspension of student loan payments due to financial hardship.
  • Step-by-Step Guide: Outline of the key components for writing a successful forbearance letter.
  • Template: Ready-to-use template for drafting your forbearance letter.
  • Tips and Personal Experience: Insight from someone who has gone through the process.
  • Important Contacts: Suggestions for reaching out to loan servicers and resources for further assistance.

Why You Might Need Forbearance

I realized I needed forbearance when unexpected medical expenses drained my savings. The stress of my student loan payments became unbearable.

Forbearance allowed me to pause my payments without damaging my credit score or defaulting on my loans. If you’re facing a similar situation, a forbearance letter could be your lifeline.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Forbearance Letter

1. Identify the Need for Forbearance

Consider why you need forbearance. It could be due to financial hardship, illness, unemployment, or other extenuating circumstances. Clearly defining your reasons will help you explain them in your letter.

2. Research Loan Servicer Requirements

Check your loan servicer’s website for their forbearance policies. Some servicers have specific forms, while others require a written letter. Make sure you understand their requirements before writing your letter.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Collect documents that support your claim for forbearance. These could include medical bills, termination notices, or bank statements. These documents will add credibility to your request.

4. Draft Your Forbearance Letter

Use a clear, polite, and professional tone when writing your letter. Here’s a template I used to get started:

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]

[Loan Servicer’s Name]
[Servicer’s Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]

Subject: Request for Student Loan Forbearance

Dear [Loan Servicer’s Name],

I am writing to request a forbearance on my student loans due to [reason, e.g., financial hardship caused by medical expenses]. I am currently experiencing [briefly describe your situation]. I would appreciate your assistance in granting me a forbearance from [start date] to [end date, if applicable].

Enclosed, please find supporting documents that outline my current financial situation. I would be grateful if you could confirm receipt of this letter and inform me of the next steps.

Thank you for your understanding and support during this difficult time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

[Your Signature]
[Your Printed Name]

5. Send the Letter and Follow Up

Send your letter via certified mail or email, ensuring you have proof of delivery. Follow up with your loan servicer to confirm they received it and inquire about the processing time.

6. Prepare for a Response

Be ready to respond to additional requests for information or to discuss your situation further. It took me a couple of weeks to get a response, so be patient and proactive.

Tips from Personal Experience

  • Stay Organized: Keep copies of all correspondence and supporting documents in a secure location.
  • Be Persistent: If you don’t hear back within a reasonable time, follow up. Sometimes loan servicers need a gentle nudge.
  • Seek Professional Advice: If you’re unsure about the process, consider consulting with a financial advisor or student loan counselor.


Writing a forbearance letter for student loans can be a daunting task, but with the right guidance, it’s manageable. I hope this guide and the provided template help you through your journey.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What should I include in a forbearance letter for student loans?

Answer: In my forbearance letter, I included a clear statement of my financial situation, the specific reason for my request (like job loss or medical expenses), and any supporting documents. This helped make my case strong and clear to the loan servicer.

Q: How long does it take to get a response after sending a forbearance letter? 

Answer: From my experience, it usually takes a few weeks to get a response. I made sure to follow up with my loan servicer if I didn’t hear back within three weeks to keep things moving.

Q: Can I request forbearance for my private student loans as well?

Answer: Yes, I requested forbearance for my private student loans too, but keep in mind that private lenders have their own policies and might not offer the same flexibility as federal loan servicers.

Q: Is there a limit to how long I can be in forbearance?

Answer: Yes, there is typically a limit. In my case, I learned that federal loans allow up to 12 months of forbearance, but it’s essential to confirm this with your specific loan servicer as policies can vary.

Q: What happens if my forbearance request is denied?

Answer: When my friend’s forbearance request was denied, they were advised to consider other options like loan modification or different repayment plans. It’s important to discuss alternatives with your servicer.

Q: Should I continue making payments while my forbearance request is being processed?

Answer: Based on my experience, it’s wise to continue making payments if possible until you receive confirmation of your forbearance to avoid late fees and impact on your credit score.

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