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Economic Hardship Deferment Calculator


This calculator helps borrowers determine whether they are likely to qualify for an economic hardship deferment. It implements the federal regulations at 34 CFR 682.210(s)(6) and 34 CFR 674.34(e) and the statute at section 435(o) of the Higher Education Act.

The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 changed the definition of economic hardship, effective October 1, 2007. In particular, it replaced the old income threshold, 100% of the poverty line for a family of two, with 150% of the poverty line applicable to the borrower's family size. It also eliminated a requirement that the monthly loan payments exceed 20% of discretionary income and that discretionary income be less than 2.2 times the greater of the poverty line for a family of two and the minimum wage. However, the US Department of Education decided to retain this requirement in the regulations at 34 CFR 674.34(e)(4) and (5) and 34 CFR 682.210(s)(6)(iv) and (v) until new regulations could be issued. (The poverty line standard was replaced with 150% of the poverty line for the family size.) The final regulations are dropping the 20/220 rule effective July 1, 2009. The reasoning is that borrowers who previously qualified for the 20/220 rule will be able to qualify for income-based repayment instead. However, several Senators have introduced legislation (S.646) to restore the 20/220 rule.

This calculator implements the new definition. A different calculator implements the old definition of economic hardship.

This calculator is of particular interest to medical school students, who often need an economic hardship deferment during their internship and residency.

  1. Are you receiving federal and/or state public assistance? (Public assistance includes Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps, and state general public assistance.)
    Yes No

  2. Are you working full time? (Full time is defined as working at least 30 hours a week for 3 months.)
    Yes No

  3. What is your gross monthly income?

  4. What is your total educational debt?

    What is the interest rate on this debt?

    What is the loan term in years?

  5. Are you serving as a volunteer in the Peace Corps?
    Yes No

  6. What is your state of residence?

  7. Family Size:

  8. Table year:

  9. Use the 20/220 rule in the determination of eligibility for the Economic Hardship Deferment?
    Yes No

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