Deferring your loans for an internship, law clerkship, fellowship, or residency
With this type of deferment, you won’t have to make principal and interest payments while you’re in your internship, law clerkship, fellowship, or residency program. Your interest will continue to accrue (grow), which will increase your Total Loan Cost, so any additional payments you can make during this period could help lower the Total Loan Cost.
If your request is approved, your student loan(s) will return to the repayment option you initially chose (i.e., interest, fixed, or deferred). That means that if you were paying either interest-only or a fixed payment when you were in school, you’ll continue to make those payments throughout the deferment.
You can request a deferment if you’re accepted into an approved internship, clerkship, fellowship, or residency program.
To be considered for deferment, the program must:
- Require you to have a bachelor’s degree as a prerequisite for acceptance.
- Be a supervised training program that leads to a degree or certificate OR is required for the student to be certified for professional practice or service.
Approval of your internship, law clerkship, fellowship, or residency program deferment request is solely at the discretion of Sallie Mae.
You can apply for this type of deferment in increments of up to 12 months, up to a maximum of 60 months for Smart Option Student Loans and up to a maximum of 48 months for the Sallie Mae Medical School Loan, Sallie Mae Dental School Loan, Sallie Mae Health Professions Graduate Loan, Sallie Mae Law School Loan, and the Sallie Mae Graduate School Loan.
To request a deferment, download an Internship, Law Clerkship, Fellowship, or Residency Deferment Form. You and an official from your internship, law clerkship, fellowship, or residency program must complete the form before submitting it to us.
- Be sure to continue making your payments until we let you know if your deferment request has been approved.
- You can re-request a deferment of your student loan every 12 months until you hit your maximum allowed.
- You can ask to have the deferment removed at any time if you want to return to making principal and interest payments.