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Educational Loan Deferments


On March 27, 2020, the President signed the CARES Act into law, which, among other things, provides broad relief for federal student loan borrowers.

Your payments will automatically stop from March 13, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2020.

To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment. This suspension of payments will last until Sept. 30, 2020, but you can still make payments if you choose. Read more on the Federal Student Aid webpage Coronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents


Participants in NIH training programs who wish to have their educational loans deferred while in training at the NIH should submit the following documents to Building 2, Room 2E28B.  Individuals at other locations may submit the same documents via e-mail to as PDF files. If sending documents by e-mail, please DO NOT ADD your social security number. You will be contacted if this information is needed.

(1) The deferment form from the lending institution (for Federal loans, this is the Graduate Fellowship Deferment Request). Note that this form was recently updated. Our link will take you to the most recent version. Please include all pages (the last page generally contains the address to which the deferment form should be sent) and please sign the form. You should check the box indicating that you are "in full-time course of study in a GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP program." NOTE: We DO NOT provide the deferment forms.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make certain we know the name of your lender and their FAX number, so that we can actually submit the forms!

(2) A short memo from your supervisor (on NIH letterhead) verifying the beginning and ending dates of the one-year period for which you are requesting a deferment and the program in which you are participating (e.g., Postbac IRTA, Postdoc IRTA), and describing, in brief, the research in which you are involved.

The Office of Intramural Training & Education will certify your participation in the appropriate training program ONLY for a twelve-month period and forward the forms to the lending institution; however, approval of loan deferments rests exclusively with the lending institution.  Loan deferment paperwork must be filed annually.

When your loan deferment forms have been signed and submitted to the lender(s), you will receive an e-mail containing PDF copies of the document(s). Please keep this information for your records.


  • Loan deferments for graduate students at NIH will be handled by their academic institutions.
  • Our office DOES NOT process loan deferments from graduate students or postdoctoral fellows at other institutions, even if they are participating in an NIH-funded training program.
  • Our office only certifies forms from NIH postbacs, postdoctoral fellows, and MRSP scholars. Research fellows and clinical fellows are not eligible for loan deferment through our office.
  • We are not able to sign deferment forms that indicate a trainee is in a medical Residency/Internship program.

Download a detailed Loan Deferment Checklist.

Questions: Send e-mail to