Deferment of Student Loan Payments

Great news!

The Deferment for Active Cancer Treatment Act has been signed into law by President Trump!

This  bill will enable college students being treated for cancer to defer payments without penalties or interest on student loans!

“A special thanks to the bi-partisan leadership of Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Tom Cole (R-OK), and Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Critical Mass, the Young Adult Alliance.

Scroll to the bottom of this page for instructions on how to apply.

After HR 2976 was moved into the House Appropriations Bill (HR 6470) and passed in the LHHS  committee. Senator Bill Nelson [D-FL]  introduced S. 3207 Deferment for Active Cancer Treatment Act. Senator  Marco Rubio, [R-FL] and Senator Amy Klobuchar [D-MN] cosponsored the Act which is a bipartisan bill that would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to allow for the deferment of certain student loan payments without interest during a period in which a borrower is receiving treatment for cancer.    Text

This is a commonsense solution that provides adolescents and young adults with a small amount of financial relief while they take time off from work or school typically without pay to receive cancer care, adding to the 11.2% national delinquency rate on student loans.

Once treatment is over, these young Americans can get back on their feet faster; returning to work or school with the expectation of being a contributing member of society. The Deferment for Active Cancer Treatment Act will enable individuals who are diagnosed with cancer to defer payments on public student loans while actively receiving treatment without interest accruing during the deferment period. This bill does not seek to change the terms of the public loan agreement between lender and borrower beyond placing a pause in repayments while cancer treatment is underway.

Kate Houghton, who was associated with a  group called Critical Mass, The Young Adult Cancer Alliance, which provided resources for young adults with cancer. She is a Florida International University alumna and former Capitol Hill staffer who was diagnosed with cancer  and was a super force in getting this bill enacted and signed into law. If you would like to print a  one page summary pass-out for use in explaining  and promoting passage of this bill, CLICK HERE.

Cosponsors- 2 (1D, 1R)
Rubio, Marco [R-FL] (joined Jul 18, 2018)
Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN] (joined Jul 23, 2018)

If you need to apply for the deferment due to cancer treatment:

CLICK HERE:  You will be directed to the Federal Student Aid Office of  the Department of Education. You will be required to complete a form and submit it to your loan servicer.


If you have problems after completing and submitting the form, try to resolve them with your loan servicer, if you have resistance with them then contact your Senator and explain what you need and request them to file constituent casework with the Department of Education:

If you have to contact your Senator, include the information (all of the blue text) below in your communication for their reference. It is the entire section of the Appropriations Bill that applies to the loan. It was passed on and signed into law on September 28, 2018. By doing so, it will save time for the Senator’s staff that will look into your request :

H.R. 6157 (115th): Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019.
(a)Section 455(f) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1087e(f)) is amended—

(1) by redesignating paragraphs (3) and (4) as paragraphs (4) and (5), respectively; and(2)by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:

(3)Deferment for borrowers receiving cancer treatment

(A)Effect on principal and interest

A borrower of a loan made under this part who meets the requirements of subparagraph

(B) shall be eligible for a deferment, during which periodic installments of principal need not be paid, and interest shall not accrue.

(B)Eligibility

A borrower of a loan made under this part shall be eligible for a deferment during—

(i)any period in which such borrower is receiving treatment for cancer; and
(ii)the 6 months after such period.
(C)Applicability

This paragraph shall apply with respect to loans—

(i)made on or after the date of the enactment of this paragraph; or
(ii)in repayment on the date of the enactment of this paragraph.

.(b)Section 427(a)(2)(C) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1077(a)(2)(C)) is amended—

(1)in clause (ii), by striking ; or and inserting a semicolon;
(2)in clause (iii), by inserting or after the semicolon; and
(3)by inserting after clause (iii) the following:

(iv)in which the borrower is receiving treatment for cancer and the 6 months after such period.

.

(c)Section 428(b)(1)(M) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1078(b)(1)(M)) is amended—

(1)in clause (iii), by striking or (II); or and inserting a or (II);;
(2)in clause (iv), by inserting or after the semicolon; and
(3)by adding at the end the following:

(v)during which the borrower is receiving treatment for cancer and the 6 months after such period;

.

(d)Section 464(c)(2) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1087dd(c)(2)) is amended—

(1)in subparagraph (A)—

(A)in clause (iv), by striking ; or and inserting a semicolon;
(B)in clause (v), by inserting or after the semicolon; and
(C)by inserting after clause (v) the following:

(vi)during which the borrower is receiving treatment for cancer and the 6 months after such period;

.(e)Section 428H(e)(2) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1078–8(e)(2)20 U.S.C. 1078–8(e)(2)20 U.S.C. 1078–8(e)(2)20 U.S.C. 1078–8(e)(2)20 U.S.C. 1078–8(e)(2)) is amended—

(1)in subparagraph (A), by striking Interest and inserting, Except as provided in subparagraph (C), interest; and
(2)by adding at the end the following:

(C)Interest shall not accrue on a loan deferred under section 428(b)(1)(M)(v) or 427(a)(2)(C)(iv).

.(f)The amendments made by this Act shall apply with respect to loans—

(1)made on or after the date of the enactment of this Act; or
(2)in repayment on the date of the enactment of this Act.
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