Deferring your loans for an internship, clerkship, fellowship, or residencyfootnote 2
You can also request a deferment if you’re accepted into an approved internship, clerkship, fellowship, or residency program.
- The program must require you to have a bachelor’s degree as a prerequisite for acceptance into the program; or
- It’s a supervised training program that
- leads to a degree or certificate; or
- is required for you to be certified for a professional practice or service.
- Approval of your internship, clerkship, fellowship, or residency program deferment request is solely at the discretion of Sallie Mae.
How an internship, clerkship, fellowship, or residency deferment works
With an internship, clerkship, fellowship, or residency deferment, you won’t have to make principal and interest payments while you’re in your internship, clerkship, fellowship, or residency program. However, interest will continue to accrue (grow), which will increase your Total Loan Cost. Any extra interest payments you can make during this period can help lower the Total Loan Cost.
After 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.
How to apply for an internship, clerkship, fellowship, or residency deferment
You can apply for this type of deferment in increments of 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, submit an Internship, Clerkship, Fellowship, or Residency Deferment Form completed by you and an official from your internship, clerkship, fellowship, or residency program.
- Continue to make your payments until we let you know if your deferment request has been approved.
- Re-request a deferment of your student loans every 12 months.
- You can ask to have the deferment removed at any time if you want to return to making principal and interest payments.