US Federal Direct Loans: Deferring Repayment

A deferment is a temporary postponement of payment on a loan that is allowed under certain conditions and during which interest generally does not accrue on Direct Subsidized Loans, the subsidized portion of Direct Consolidation Loans, Subsidized Federal Direct Loans, the subsidized portion of FFEL Consolidation Loans, and Federal Perkins Loans. All other federal student loans that are deferred will continue to accrue interest. Any unpaid interest that accrued during the deferment period may be added to the principal balance (capitalized) of the loan(s).  

SFU Enrollment Requirements for Deferment

Undergraduate Students must be registered in a minimum of 8 credits to meet the half time enrollment requirement to obtain a deferment

Graduate students in a research or specialty per-term program that are charged a per-term fee regardless of the number of courses registered, must be registered in at least one course per term to obtain a deferment.

Graduate students in a specialty per-unit program that are charged a fee based on the number of registered credits, must be registered in at least 5 credits to obtain a deferment.

For Enrollment status for US Direct Loans, refer to our US Federal Direct Loan page. Distance education and Co-op courses can be included in your enrollment for deferments only.

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

Under U.S. regulations, all schools participating in Title IV programs are required to report enrollment information about students who appear on their NSLDS Roster file.  NSLDS will include on the Roster file undergraduate and graduate federal student aid recipients enrolled at SFU, including students who have received Title IV aid at another school and that the NSLDS knows or has reason to believe is enrolled at SFU.

When added to our NSLDS Roster file, SFU will automatically report your enrollment status every 60 days (i.e., every odd-number month).  This will continue until your enrollment changes to less than half time or you withdraw from Simon Fraser University. 

NOTE:  Updated enrollment status done on the NSLDS website defers U.S. federal student loans only.  If you have private/other loans, please complete the ‘Borrower’ section of the In-School Deferment Request form, and send to us for completion.  If your private/other lender requires a different form, complete your section and forward to our office for completion.

Monitor your student loan records

It is recommended that you follow up with your Student Loan Servicers (Lenders) on a term by term basis to confirm your enrollment status is up-to-date with them.  You can also check the status of your previously-borrowed U.S. loans on the NSLDS website.

Review your Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment on a yearly basis.

Frequently Asked Questions (Deferment)

1. How do I apply for a deferment for my prior US Federal Direct Loans?

If you have never had a deferment done for you by SFU, you must make an initial request for a deferment. You can make this request by providing us the following information: Your full name, your SFU student #, your U.S. Social Security Number.  You can provide this information by phone, or reach out by email to usloans@sfu.ca.

Unless you have prior Perkins or U.S. Private Loans, we do not need the paper deferment form because we will process automatically through the NSLDS website. This applies to both Direct Loan and FFELP loans.

2. How does Distance Education impact deferment?          

If you have a distance education and/or online course on your SFU record, you are not eligible for any U.S. Federal Direct Loan funding (now or in the future) towards the same program or credential at SFU.

This is a regulation by the U.S. Department of Education.  Refer to US Federal Direct Loans: Distance Education.

We recommend you regularly check the US Federal Direct Loans: Maintaining Eligibility web page for any additions or amendments to the eligibility requirements.

Note:  You can obtain a deferment with distance education and/or online courses on your SFU record (provided you meet the other requirements, such as minimum registration).    

UPDATE: There is a COVID-19 Temporary Exemption to the distance education and/or online courses restriction effective March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022 only.

3. What are my responsibilities after SFU processes my deferment request?

Once we have processed your deferment request, we will email you (to your SFU email) to confirm the deferment is completed. Your name will then be added to the enrollment status report automatically submitted by SFU until you graduate or withdraw. It is your responsibility (or your Parent’s responsibility, in case of a Parent PLUS loan) to follow up with your previous lenders/servicers to ensure your study period end date has been updated according to the school’s enrollment information.  

If you were an SFU student receiving US Loans or US Deferments, and you withdraw but later return to SFU, you must contact us immediately so that we can update your enrollment information accordingly.

During a deferment, you do not need to make payments. If you have a subsidized loan, the federal government may pay the interest on your loan during a period of deferment. The government does not pay the interest on your unsubsidized loans (or on any PLUS loans). You are responsible for paying the interest that accrues (accumulates) during the deferment period, but your payment is not due during the deferment period. If you don’t pay the interest on your loan during deferment, it may be capitalized (added to your principal balance), and the amount you pay in the future will be higher.

Visit the U.S. Department of Education website more information about deferments.

4. How does deferment work if I have a Private or Perkins Loan?

If you have a US private loan or a Perkins Loan, then it is not included in the online NSLDS Enrollment Roster information. To update your private loan, please submit an in-school deferment form by email to usloans@sfu.ca.  

5. What if I have a Parent PLUS loan that I wish to defer?

Parent PLUS loans are not automatically deferred through the deferment process. The parent (as the Borrower) has to request a deferment while the student is in school. The parent borrower can also request a deferment for an additional six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. Complete the Parent PLUS Borrower Deferment Request Form and send it to usloans@sfu.ca to start the deferment process.

6. How do I keep my personal contact information up to date?

It is your responsibility to inform SFU Financial Aid and Awards in writing and/or the U.S. Department of Education of any changes to your original applications that may impact your eligibility as a borrower or the amounts you are eligible to borrow.  This would include, but is not limited to:  (i) the amount of Financial Aid you received or expect to receive; and (ii) changes to your registration/course load. 

You are also required to keep up-to-date, consistent contact information with the U.S. Department of Education, SFU and your Servicers/Lenders. 

TIP:  Your address in the NSLDS system would be your permanent (usually a) U.S. address.  In the student information system, your home/permanent address is where you would enter your permanent, U.S. address (this should match the address you have in NSLDS).  Your mailing address in the student information system should indicate where you currently live. 

  • National Student Loan Data System, NSLDS website.
  • Simon Fraser University Student Information System (SIS), go.sfu.ca.
  • Student Loan Servicers (Lenders):  If unsure, to find out who your Student Loan Servicers (Lenders) are, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-433-3243.  Further details and information can be found here