Student Loan Forbearance: Pros and Cons

Student loans are often a necessary evil for many students pursuing higher education. While these loans can provide the financial support needed to attend college, they can also become a burden after graduation.

Pros and Cons

For those struggling to make their monthly payments, student loan forbearance might seem like an attractive option. But is it the right choice for everyone? In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of student loan forbearance to help you make an informed decision.

Before diving into the pros and cons, it’s essential to understand what student loan forbearance is. Forbearance is a temporary pause or reduction in your student loan payments. It’s typically granted to borrowers who are facing financial hardship or other difficulties that make it challenging to repay their loans.

How Does Forbearance Work?

When you request forbearance, your lender may grant you a temporary reprieve from making payments or reduce your monthly payments for a specified period. However, interest continues to accrue during this time, which means your loan balance will likely increase.

Temporary Relief from Payments

One of the most significant benefits of student loan forbearance is the temporary relief it provides from making payments. If you’re facing a short-term financial crisis, forbearance can give you the breathing room you need to get back on your feet.

Flexibility in Financial Hardship

Forbearance offers flexibility for borrowers experiencing financial hardship. Whether you’ve lost your job, faced unexpected medical expenses, or encountered other financial setbacks, forbearance can provide the flexibility you need to manage your finances more effectively.

No Negative Impact on Credit Score

Unlike defaulting on your student loans, entering into forbearance generally won’t have a negative impact on your credit score. This can be especially beneficial if you’re concerned about maintaining good credit while dealing with financial difficulties.

Accrued Interest

One of the most significant drawbacks of student loan forbearance is the accrual of interest. Since interest continues to accrue during forbearance, your loan balance can grow significantly over time. This means you’ll end up paying more in the long run.

Extended Repayment Period

Forbearance doesn’t eliminate your student loan debt; it merely postpones it. This can result in an extended repayment period, making it harder to become debt-free. If you’re not careful, you could find yourself paying off your student loans well into your 40s or even 50s.

Potential for Increased Monthly Payments

Once your forbearance period ends, your monthly payments may increase, especially if your loan balance has grown due to accrued interest. This can be a shock to your budget and make it even more challenging to manage your finances.

Alternatives to Forbearance

While forbearance can be a useful tool for managing student loan debt, it’s not the only option available. Consider these alternatives before opting for forbearance:

Income-Driven Repayment Plans

Income-driven repayment plans can help lower your monthly payments based on your income and family size. These plans can be a more sustainable solution for borrowers struggling to make ends meet.

Loan Refinancing

Refinancing your student loans can help you secure a lower interest rate and reduce your monthly payments. However, refinancing is typically only available to borrowers with good credit and a stable income.


Like forbearance, deferment allows you to temporarily postpone your student loan payments. However, unlike forbearance, the government may pay the interest on subsidized loans during deferment, making it a more affordable option.


Student loan forbearance can provide temporary relief for borrowers facing financial hardship, but it’s not without its drawbacks. From accrued interest to extended repayment periods, there are several factors to consider before opting for forbearance. Before making a decision, explore alternative options like income-driven repayment plans, loan refinancing, and deferment to find the best solution for your financial situation.

Remember, managing student loan debt is a marathon, not a sprint. By carefully weighing the pros and cons of each option and choosing the one that best fits your needs, you can take control of your finances and work towards a debt-free future.

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