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About loan deferments

We are happy to help you apply for deferment of qualified educational loans if you are a trainee or fellow in the following Intramural Research Programs:

  • Postbac program
  • Postdoc program, and appointed as an IRTA or CRTA
  • Medical Research Scholars Program

We cannot provide assistance if you are:

  • a student in the NIH Graduate Partnership Program; you should reach out to your university for information on the deferment process there
  • a student supported by an extramural NIH grant, whether it is an institutional training grant or an individual award. You should also consult there as the NIH OITE is unable to help you
  • Appointed at NIH as a Research or Clinical Fellows

If you are participating in a program eligible for loan deferment process by the NIH OITE, you will need two documents to begin the process:

  1. Deferment form from the lending institution
    1. For Federal loans, this is the Graduate Fellowship Deferment Request.
    2. Check the box indicating that you are "in full-time course of study in a graduate fellowship program."
    3. Include all pages and sign the form in Section 3.
    4. Leave Section 4 of the Graduate Fellowship Deferment form COMPLETELY BLANK.  Your supervisor is not the certifying official; we will complete this section of the form.
  1. A short memo from your supervisor on NIH letterhead including:
    1. the precise starting and ending dates of your fellowship for the one-year period you are requesting a deferment
    2. your training program
    3. A brief description of your research responsibilities

Once you have these two documents, follow these instructions for next steps:

  1. Be sure that your social security number is not included
  2. Convert the documents to PDFs
  3. Using encrypted email, send the documents to You can find instructions on sending encrypted files here.
  4. Once your forms are processed by our office, we will email you the signed PDF(s)
  5. You are responsible for uploading the completed forms to your lender's website

Please keep the following information in mind:

  • We receive a large number of loan deferment processing requests. Please allow 14-days for processing. Please do not email again requesting an update before 14-days have elapsed.
  • Loan deferment paperwork must be filed annually. We can only certify your participation in the appropriate training program for a twelve-month period.
  • Once loan deferment forms have been processed, you will receive an e-mail containing PDF copies of the document(s); keep this information for your records.
  • Remember that approval of loan deferments rests exclusively with the lending institution.