Trouble Making Payments
If you're having trouble making payments or if you anticipate that you may have
trouble making payments, contact CornerStone immediately. We will help you find
your best option, including but not limited to:
The two methods of postponing your student loan payments are deferment or forbearance.
You can find out if you qualify for a deferment or forbearance by taking the eligibility
quiz in Account Access.
What is deferment?
Deferment is a period of time in which your payments are temporarily postponed.
You have to meet specific criteria to qualify for deferment. To be eligible for
a deferment your loans must be in repayment and you must provide CornerStone with
What deferments may be available?
Eligibility requirements differ for each deferment type. Detailed eligibility requirements
are available on each deferment request form. Deferment may be available to you
in the following situations:
While you're enrolled at least half time in college or in a career school.
While you're enrolled in an approved rehabilitation training program.
While you're enrolled in an approved graduate fellowship program.
For up to 3 years while you're in a period of economic hardship.
While you're on active military duty during a war, military operation, or national
For up to 3 years while you're unemployed or unable to find full-time employment.
During the 13 months after active duty military service or until you're enrolled
at least half-time, whichever is earlier, if you are a member of the National Guard
or reserve of the U.S. armed forces and you were called or ordered to active duty
while enrolled at least half-time or within 6 months of having been enrolled at
You're disabled or caring for someone who is disabled.
While you're on leave from work because you are pregnant, caring for your newborn
child, or caring for your newly adopted child.
You're a working mother who entered the workforce within one year of your deferment
request, working full time earning less than $1 more than the federal minimum wage,
and are the mother of a preschool-age child who has not yet entered elementary
You're in public service including the Peace Corps, Action Programs, or a tax-exempt
If you have a Direct loan that was disbursed before July 1, 1993,
you may be eligible for additional deferments. Contact CornerStone for more information
about these additional deferments.
Does interest accrue during deferment?
During deferment, any accrued interest on your subsidized loans will be
paid by the U.S. Department of Education. You are responsible for any accrued interest
on your unsubsidized or PLUS loan(s). If you do not pay the interest during
the deferment period, it will be added to your principal (capitalized) at the end
of the deferment period. Because interest is added to your principal when it is
capitalized, you will pay more over the life of your loan.
Click here for our deferment request forms.
You can use this calculator to see what the cost of deferment would be on
What is forbearance?
Forbearance is another tool you may be able to use to if you are having trouble
making payments. If you are willing but financially unable to make your scheduled
payments and do not qualify for a deferment, CornerStone may allow you to temporarily
reduce the payment amount or temporarily postpone your payments. During forbearance
you are responsible for the interest that accrues on both subsidized and unsubsidized
loans. There is no fee to receive forbearance.
What types of forbearance may be available?
There are two main types of forbearance: discretionary and mandatory. If a forbearance
is discretionary, CornerStone decides whether or not to grant forbearance. You can
request a discretionary forbearance if you are experiencing financial hardship or
illness. If a forbearance is mandatory, CornerStone will grant it as long as you
meet all eligibility criteria. You can request a mandatory forbearance if:
You are enrolled in a medical or dental internship or residency program.
You qualify for the Department of Defense Student Loan Repayment Program.
You were activated by a governor while serving in the National Guard and you are
not eligible for military deferment.
You're teaching to qualify for Teacher Loan Forgiveness.
Your monthly payment for all your student loans is at least 20% of your monthly
Does interest accrue during forbearance?
You are responsible for paying interest that accrues during forbearance. Any interest
you don't pay during the forbearance period will be added to your principal balance
(capitalized) at the end of the forbearance period. Because interest is added to
your principal when it is capitalized, you will pay more over the life of your loan.
Click here for our forbearance request forms.
You can use this calculator to see what the cost of forbearance would be
on your loans.