A Break for Cancer Patients with Student Loans

By Sara Bondell - August 23, 2019

Nearly a year ago, Congress passed a law allowing people with cancer to press pause on their student loan payments. However, borrowers had no way to apply for the postponement.

Until now.

The U.S. Education Department has released the request form that will make it easier for cancer patients to temporarily stop making payments without interest accruing on their loans for the duration of treatment and six months after completion of treatment.

“I am thrilled that loan deferment has become a reality,” said Dr. Damon Reed, program leader of Moffitt Cancer Center’s Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Program. “Five thousand people will benefit from this common sense, bipartisan legislation over just this past year, and it means many lives are going to positively affected.”

Reed worked with advocacy organizations Critical Mass and the Samfund to help get the bill approved. “I am so pleased that so many people’s work and advocacy has become the new normal for AYA patients,” he said. “I look forward to the next improvement we can make for AYA patients with cancer.”

To be eligible for the loan deferment, you need to owe money on federal student loans and be in active treatment for cancer. After filling out the online form, you will need a letter from your doctor certifying you are or were receiving cancer treatment.

The benefit will apply to federal loans made on or after September 28, 2018 when the law was enacted.

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