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Deferment Period


The deferment period refers to a specified time frame during which the repayment of a loan or principal is postponed. It is often associated with student loans, allowing students to delay repayments while they’re still in school or experiencing financial hardship. During the deferment period, depending upon the type of loan, the interest may or may not accrue.


The phonetics of the keyword “Deferment Period” is: /dɪˈfɜːrmənt ˈpɪəriəd/

Key Takeaways

  • Deferment Period refers to the specified amount of time during which a borrower does not need to make payments towards their loan. This generally applies to student loans, mortgages, or other types of installment loans and is particularly common in periods wherein the borrower is undergoing financial hardship or is still in school.
  • During the deferment period, depending on the terms of the loan, interest may continue to accrue. This can increase the total amount of the loan over time. Certain types of loans, like subsidized federal loans, won’t accumulate interest in this period.
  • A loan deferment can provide temporary relief for debtors, but it merely postpones payments, rather than eliminating them. Therefore, it’s critical to have a long-term repayment plan in place once the deferment period ends to avoid falling behind on loan repayments.


The “Deferment Period” is a crucial business/finance term because it refers to a specific time frame where loan borrowers are exempted from making repayments towards their debts. Understanding the deferment period is critical for borrowers as it can provide them with financial relief during unforeseen circumstances like unemployment, economic downturn, or times of financial hardship. During this time, interest may or may not accrue depending on the type of loan, which can greatly affect the total amount owed over the lifetime of the loan. Thus, grasping the implications of a deferment period empowers borrowers to manage their debts optimally and avoid potential defaulting or financial distress.


The purpose of a deferment period, a term commonly used in the finance and business world, is to provide temporary financial relief by postponing payments on debts or loans. This pause in payments has applications in a range of financial contexts, from student loans to mortgages to insurance policies, and is especially useful during times of economic hardship. For example, if a borrower loses their source of income, a deferment period allows them to stabilize their financial situation without the added stress of immediate loan repayments.

The deferment period is integral in mitigating risk for both borrower and lender. For borrowers, a deferment period allows space to navigate unforeseen circumstances and possibly avoid default; for lenders or service providers, it can help protect their investment by lowering the probability of loan default, thus maintaining loan performance and healthy customer relationships. Deferment periods, therefore, prove to be a valuable tool in maintaining stability within the financial ecosystem during times of economic turbulence or personal financial hardship.


1. Student Loans: In many countries, students are often allowed to delay (‘defer’) the repayment of their loans until after they have finished their education. This period, which generally starts when the loan is issued and ends six months after the student either graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment, is known as a deferment period.

2. Insurance Policies: In certain insurance policies such as income protection or critical illness, there is often a deferment period. For example, if a policyholder has a 90-day deferment period, they will need to wait for 90 days from the day they are unable to work before the policy starts paying out.

3. Mortgages: During the global financial crisis of 2008 and the more recent COVID-19 pandemic, many homeowners were given the option to defer their mortgage payments if they were experiencing financial hardship. This temporarily suspended or reduced period, initiated by lenders or government authorities, is another example of a deferment period.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a deferment period in finance?

A deferment period refers to the duration of time during which a borrower or payer is exempted from making payments, particularly in the context of loan repayments. During this period, either the entire loan or principal component is not due until the deferment duration ends.

Will interest accrue during the deferment period?

This depends on the terms of the specific agreement. In some cases, interest may accrue during the deferment period and will need to be paid off subsequently. However, in other cases, interest may be waived for the deferment period. Always refer to your specific loan terms or speak to a financial advisor.

Can I request a deferment period for my loan?

Yes, you can, but obtaining one depends on your lender or loan servicer’s policies, your loan agreement, and sometimes your financial situation. Generally, deferments are granted during periods of financial hardship or during schooling for student loans.

How long can a deferment period last?

The duration of a deferment period can vary greatly depending on the terms and type of loan. For example, it can range from a few months in the case of temporary financial hardship to several years for long-term loans or education purposes.

Does a deferment period affect my credit score?

Generally, deferment by itself does not hurt your credit score. However, it might indirectly affect your credit score if you fall behind on your payments after the deferment period ends. It’s essential to consider the implications and make a well-informed decision.

Do all loans offer a deferment period option?

No, not all loans offer deferment options. It’s more common with student loans, mortgages, or other long-term loans. Short-term loans like payday loans or credit card balances usually don’t have such options. Always check with your lender or read the terms of your loan agreement.

Do I have to pay to apply for a deferment period on my loan?

This depends on your loan provider’s policies. Some may charge a fee for changing the loan terms or processing the deferment, while others may not. Always clarify these details with your lender.

Related Finance Terms

  • Grace Period
  • Amortization Schedule
  • Loan Principle
  • Interest Rate
  • Repayment Terms

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