How to apply
You should fill out the newly available cancer deferment application and send it to your servicer. “A telephone call is not sufficient,” Kantrowitz said. “Keep a copy for your records.”
You will need your doctor to confirm that you have cancer. He or she can do this on the cancer deferment form or by attaching a letter.
If you have loans in the Direct program, your loans can be paused without interest accruing whether they’re subsidized or unsubsidized loans, Kantrowitz said. If you have a FFEL loan, you can get a break from your payments, but interest will continue to rack up. Private loans do not qualify.
If you requested the deferment after Sept. 28, 2018 — when the law went into effect — but before the form was available, Kantrowitz recommends you include a letter with your application noting that any interest that was paid should be refunded to you or applied to the principal balance of the loan. If you didn’t pay the interest, it should be removed.
“A week or so after the deferment form is mailed, call the servicer to confirm receipt and to ask when it will be processed,” Kantrowitz said.