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Can I get a deferment or forbearance on my NJ CLASS student loan from HESAA if I am unemployed?

If you have a CLASS loan from New Jersey's Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), it can be very difficult if you don't have a job upon graduation or become unemployed later in the repayment period. But can you get a break from making payments while jobless? Sometimes!

Deferments

If you are unemployed, you can seek a deferment, but there are conditions:

  • You must be currently unemployed and conscientiously seeking but unable to find full-time employment.
  • You may be granted up to a six-month deferment upon your initial request if you provide acceptable proof of eligibility for unemployment benefits or a signed written statement describing your conscientious search for full-time employment. The statement must include:
    • Proof that at least three attempts were made to gain employment;
    • The names, addresses and phone numbers of the possible employers contacted;
    • The name of the contact person at each possible employer; and
    • A certification of registration with a public or private employment agency.
  • For all requests beyond the initial request, you must provide a signed written statement describing your conscientious search for full-time employment during the preceding deferment period. The statement must include the documentation, contact information and certification specified above.
  • In order to remain eligible for the deferment, you can't restrict your job search to specific fields, positions, or salaries.

Financial Hardship Forbearances

What about forbearances? Well, HESAA may also, at its discretion, grant you periods of forbearance. It will only be granted if both the borrower and co-borrower qualify for the forbearance. It may be granted for situations including, but not limited to, economic hardship (as defined for federal student loans). But again, there are conditions.

  • The maximum allowable time period for economic hardship forbearance cannot exceed six months for loans with a 10-year repayment term, 18 months for loans with a 15-year repayment term, 24 months for loans with a 20-year repayment term, 30 months for loans with a 25-year repayment term and 36 months for loans with a 30-year repayment term.
  • In granting a forbearance, HESAA permits a temporary cessation of principal payments and temporarily permits payments of interest only, or a temporary cessation of both principal and interest payments. Interest continues to accrue during all forbearance periods.

More Information

Looking for a more long term solution to your CLASS loans? Then check out the information in my free book, Paying for Your Classes with a CLASS Loan: A Survival Guide to HESAA. It will tell you about all of your options and which one might work for you!

If you live in the southern New Jersey area and need more personalized assistance with your situation, then feel free to call my office at 856-432-4113 to schedule an appointment or contact me by e-mail. You need to act now; the longer you wait, the fewer options are available!

Steven J. Richardson
Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.