Publication Date: November 29, 2013
Subject: Renewal of Military Service and Post-Active Duty Student Deferment Request
Summary: The letter announces the renewal of the Military Service and Post-Active Duty Student Deferment Request for use by lenders and servicers in the Direct Loan, Federal Family Education Loan, and Federal Perkins Loan programs.
Note: On March 10, 2015 and again on June 30, 2015 we updated this Dear Colleague Letter by replacing the attached form with a form that is formatted to be more accessible. Only formatting changes were made. The content on the form and in the Dear Colleague Letter has not changed.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the attached Military Service and Post-Active Duty Student Deferment Request (Military Deferment form) under OMB Control Number 1845-0080 with few substantive changes from the earlier version of the form. The expiration date of the revised form is September 30, 2016 and replaces the previous version of the form with an expiration date of July 31, 2013.
Loan holders and servicers may begin utilizing the attached OMB-approved Military Deferment form immediately. The previous version of the Military Deferment form with the expiration date of July 31, 2013 may continue to be distributed until February 28, 2014 and may be accepted until May 31, 2014. Beginning June 1, 2014, only the revised form may be accepted.
Substantive Changes to the Military Deferment Form
The following are the two substantive changes to the Military Deferment form:
Inserting a reminder that borrowers who serve in the National Guard may be eligible for a forbearance if they are not eligible for a military deferment; and
Inserting a reminder that borrowers who qualify for a military deferment may also be eligible to have their interest rate limited to 6 percent during their period of active duty military service under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and providing instructions as to how that benefit must be requested.
Reformatting of the Military Deferment Form
Though substantive changes to the form were minor, formatting changes make it more accessible to those with visual impairments. Such changes include:
Increasing the font size for most of the form to 11 point;
Eliminating the use of tables to format text and fields in the form;
Reformatting long sections of text into columns; and
Tagging the PDF version of the form so that it adheres to ED accessibility standards and may be signed using a digital facsimile signature.
These formatting changes will be made in all future revisions to forms that are used by borrowers during the repayment of their loans (loan servicing forms). We encourage all loan holders and servicers to permit this form and all other loan servicing forms to be completed and submitted electronically (e.g., via email) to the extent practicable, and to make information about electronic submission more widely available to borrowers. For example, to encourage scanned or electronically completed copies of the form to be submitted, servicers should include the email address to which the completed form can be sent in addition to addresses, fax numbers, and other contact information.
To improve accessibility for visual impaired borrowers, the OMB-approved Military Deferment form is provided in PDF format only as an attachment to this letter. Federal Perkins loan holders and guaranty agencies are responsible for ensuring that the form in use is identical to the form approved by OMB. No changes may be made to the form except as expressly discussed below.
The loan holder or servicer must print the enclosed Military Deferment form with black ink on white paper. The typeface, point size, and general presentation of the form may not be changed from the version approved by OMB. Loan holders and servicers may use any blank spaces at the top, bottom, or sides of the form for bar coding or other lender- or servicer-specific information. In addition, loan holders and servicers may pre-populate their contact and submission information in the section of the form designed for that purpose.
Jeff Baker, Director
Policy Liaison and Implementation
Federal Student Aid