Publication Date: January 29, 2016
Subject: Approval of Deferment and Mandatory Forbearance Request Forms for the Direct Loan, FFEL, and Perkins Loan Programs
Summary: This letter announces the approval of revised loan deferment and mandatory forbearance request forms for the Direct Loan, FFEL, and Perkins Loan programs.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved revised William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program, The Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, and Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) Program deferment request forms under OMB Control Number 1845-0011 and revised Direct Loan Program, FFEL Program, and Perkins Loan Program mandatory forbearance request forms under OMB Control Number 1845-0018. The revised forms have an expiration date of 9/30/2018.
All of the deferment and mandatory forbearance request forms are for use in the Direct Loan and FFEL programs. Some of the forms are also for use in the Perkins Loan Program. The listings below indicate the loan programs in which each form is used.
We are attaching the following deferment request forms to this letter:
- In-School Deferment Request (SCH) – Direct Loan, FFEL, and Perkins
- Graduate Fellowship Deferment Request (GFL) – Direct Loan, FFEL, and Perkins
- Rehabilitation Training Program Deferment Request (RHT) – Direct Loan, FFEL, and Perkins
- Unemployment Deferment Request (UNEM) – Direct Loan, FFEL, and Perkins
- Economic Hardship Deferment Request (HRD) – Direct Loan, FFEL, and Perkins
- Parent PLUS Borrower Deferment Request (PLUS) – Direct Loan and FFEL
- Temporary Total Disability Deferment Request (TDIS) – Direct Loan and FFEL
We have discontinued the following deferment request forms because borrowers have not received these deferments in some time:
- Public Service Deferment Request (PUB)
- Parental Leave/Working Mother Deferment Request (PLWM)
In the previous deferment request forms, the Education Related Deferment Request (EDU) included four deferment types:
- Graduate Fellowship Deferment
- Rehabilitation Training Deferment
- Teacher Shortage Deferment
- Internship/Residency Deferment
Because borrowers have not received Teacher Shortage Deferments or Internship/Residency Deferments in some time, we have discontinued those deferment request types from the deferment request forms. Because the removal of those deferment request types, we have discontinued the EDU form and replaced it with two new forms for the remaining two types of deferments that were on the EDU form: Graduate Fellowship (GFL) and Rehabilitation Training (RHT).
In addition, because Parent PLUS borrowers have not received the Student in Rehabilitation Training Deferment in some time, we have eliminated that deferment request type from the Parent PLUS Borrower Deferment Request (PLUS) form.
In the rare case that a borrower requests to defer repayment of his or her loans on the basis of one of the deferments no longer listed on the existing forms, the loan holder or servicer must, following the applicable regulatory requirements receive:
- A request for the deferment from the borrower;
- Documentation certifying each of the eligibility criteria for the deferment; and
- Any supporting documentation required by the applicable regulations.
We are also attaching the following mandatory forbearance request forms to this letter:
- Mandatory Forbearance Request: Student Loan Debt Burden (SLDB) – Direct Loan, FFEL, and Perkins
- Mandatory Forbearance Request: Medical or Dental Internship/Residency, National Guard Duty, or Department of Defense Student Loan Repayment Program (SERV) – Direct Loan and FFEL
Required Sections to be Completed
Generally, a loan holder cannot approve a borrower’s request for deferment or forbearance unless the borrower has answered all applicable questions following the instructions on the form.
In cases where the borrower submits a form that the borrower did not complete correctly or thoroughly, there are cases where the request for deferment or forbearance can be approved.
For deferment/forbearance requests that do not require an authorized official’s certification, the loan holder may consider the request complete if:
- The form is signed by the borrower;
- The borrower has provided responses to any applicable self-certifying questions that are needed to determine qualification and would not be clearly indicated in the supporting documentation; and
- The borrower provides documentation that establishes the borrower’s eligibility for the deferment or forbearance.
For example, if a borrower failed to answer the question on the unemployment deferment request form (UNEM) that asks if the borrower is receiving unemployment benefits, but the borrower attached documentation of his or her eligibility for unemployment benefits, the loan holder may consider the request complete.
For deferment/forbearance requests that do require an authorized official’s certification (with the exception of the TDIS form):
- The borrower must answer all of the questions pertaining to the borrower’s eligibility for deferment since the authorized official is, by signing the form, certifying that “the borrower and the program meet all conditions indicated by the borrower’s responses” to the applicable questions; and
- If the borrower answers a question in a manner that demonstrates that the borrower is not eligible for the deferment or mandatory forbearance, the authorized official’s certification is invalid.
For TDIS, the Physician’s certification is self-contained and includes all information required for processing without the notation of certifying the borrower’s prior responses. Therefore, a loan holder should use the Physician’s certification section in lieu of any borrower responses to the questions pertaining to the borrower’s eligibility for deferment.
Implementation and Transition to New Forms
Program participants may begin distributing the attached OMB-approved forms to borrowers immediately. Beginning June 1, 2016, only the revised forms with the 9/30/2018 expiration date may be provided to borrowers. However, the previous versions of the forms may continue to be accepted from borrowers and processed after that date.
To accommodate imaging technology, each of the attached forms requires the borrower to complete and sign the form in ink. However, a pencil signature does not invalidate a form.
To improve accessibility for visually impaired borrowers, we are providing the forms only in PDF format. Loan holders, servicers, and guaranty agencies are responsible for ensuring that the forms they use are identical to the attached forms, as approved by OMB. No changes may be made to the forms except as expressly provided below.
The loan holder, servicer, or guaranty agency must print the forms on white paper with black ink. The typeface, point size, and general presentation of the forms may not be changed from the attached version. Loan holders and servicers may use any blank spaces at the top, bottom, or sides of the forms for bar coding or other loan holder- or servicer-specific information. Also, loan holders and servicers may pre-populate their contact and submission information in the section of the forms designed for that purpose.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Poverty Guideline amounts on the Economic Hardship Deferment Request may be updated as necessary.
Jeff Baker, Director
Policy Liaison and Implementation
Federal Student Aid
U.S. Department of Education