Forbearance is the temporary postponement of loan payments, usually for a mortgage or student loan. Forbearance is granted by lenders and other creditors as an alternative to foreclosing on a property or allowing the borrower to default on the loan. The companies that hold loans and their insurers are frequently willing to negotiate forbearance agreements because they typically bear the losses associated with foreclosures and defaults.
What is Forbearance and Definition

• Forbearance meaning is the temporary postponement of loan payments granted by a lender in lieu of foreclosing or defaulting on the borrower.

• The borrower and the lender negotiate the terms of the forbearance agreement.

• Mortgagors whose loans are backed by government programs and affected by COVID-19 may be eligible for relief.

• The borrower must demonstrate the need for postponing payments, such as financial difficulties caused by a major illness or the loss of employment.

• Borrowers with federal student loans have the option of forbearance until December 31, 2022.

Understanding the Forbearance

Forbearance is an option for all loans, although it is most commonly used for student loans and mortgages. It provides the debtor with additional time to repay their debt. This helps struggling borrowers and benefits the lender, who frequently loses money after paying fees due to foreclosures and defaults. Loan servicers (those who collect payments but do not own the loans) may be less willing to work with borrowers on forbearance relief because they bear less financial risk.

Borrowers and lenders negotiate the conditions of a forbearance agreement. The likelihood of obtaining an arrangement depends in part on the borrower's ability to resume monthly payments following the forbearance period. Depending on the extent of the borrower's need and the lender's confidence in the borrower's ability to catch up at a later date, the lender may approve a total or partial reduction in the borrower's monthly payment.

In some instances, the lender may provide the borrower with a number of options. These include a complete payment suspension for a time period

• Obligating the borrower to make interest payments but not principal payments

• The borrower pays only a portion of the interest, with the unpaid portion being added to the total debt - a process known as negative amortization

By law, forbearance may be required. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was passed and signed into law in 2020 in response to the economic impact of COVID-19, included provisions for student loan forbearance. During the pandemic, some state governments also enacted regulations regarding forbearance. During the pandemic, the law also included provisions for mortgage payment forbearance for struggling homeowners. Below is more information about these updates.

Receiving forbearance does not absolve you of your financial obligation, so you must still make up the missed payments once the forbearance period expires.

How to Apply for the Forbearance

To apply for forbearance on mortgages or student loans, borrowers should contact their lenders or loan servicers. In the majority of cases, they will be required to provide evidence of the need to defer payments, such as financial difficulties caused by a serious illness or job loss.

Since forbearance agreements are negotiated, lenders have considerable discretion in deciding whether to offer assistance and to what extent. Borrowers with a consistent payment history have a greater chance of succeeding.

Following a layoff, a borrower who worked for the same company for ten years without ever missing a mortgage payment is a good candidate. This borrower is more likely to be granted forbearance if they are highly skilled and can secure a comparable position within a reasonable timeframe. A lender is less likely to grant forbearance to a borrower with a shaky employment history or a history of missed payments who has been laid off.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the special government program described below is a temporary exception that provides federal student loan deferment. In such a case, borrowers with eligible loans were automatically placed in administrative forbearance and were not required to make monthly loan payments until the program's scheduled termination on December 31, 2022.

COVID-19 Forbearance for the Student Loans

COVID-19 legislation and administrative actions included forbearance assistance in March 2020, beginning with the announcement that the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid office would suspend loan payments, set interest rates to 0%, and cease collections on defaulted loans.


The payment pause for all student loans owned by the Department of Education has been extended through December 31, 2022.

As part of COVID-19 relief, the Department of Education announced in March 2021 that all defaulted Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans made by private lenders would also receive forbearance.

Despite the fact that private student loans do not qualify for forbearance under COVID-19, some private lenders may offer forbearance on their own.


The lender may temporarily reduce the borrower's interest rate as a second option for forbearance.

COVID-19 Forbearance for the Mortgages

As part of the CARES Act, mortgage forbearance assistance was extended to consumers. The COVID-19 mortgage forbearance provision applies to all federally backed and sponsored mortgages. This includes loans guaranteed by:

• Fannie Mae;

• Freddie Mac.

• The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD);

• the Federal Housing Administration (FHA);

• The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA);

• The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA);

The law allows for an initial forbearance of up to 180 days, with an additional 180-day extension.

If your loan is backed by HUD/FHA, the USDA, or the VA, the initial forbearance request deadline has been extended until the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency. If your loan is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, there is no initial forbearance application deadline.

Depending on which agency guarantees your federal loan, the government implemented the following modifications:

• If your mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you can request up to two three-month extensions for a total of 18 months of forbearance. To qualify, your initial forbearance must have been granted no later than February 28, 2021. Otherwise, the above-mentioned one-year forbearance period applies.

• You may request up to two additional three-month extensions if your mortgage is insured by HUD/FHA, USDA, or the VA and you received your initial forbearance before June 30, 2020. If not, you are limited to a 12-month total forbearance period.

• In April 2022, the Biden administration extended the foreclosure moratorium until August 31, 2022.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 establishes the Homeowner Assistance Fund, which provides nearly $10 billion for states and territories to assist struggling homeowners through their housing departments.

What Occurs When Forbearance Expires?

Once the period of forbearance expires, the borrower is responsible for making up any missed payments. The lender frequently collaborates with the borrower to devise a repayment plan. If Freddie Mac owns the loan, the borrower is never required to repay the deferred payments in a lump sum. Consider the possibility that this is not the case with other lenders.

Again, depending on the terms negotiated with the lender, the borrower may be responsible for accrued interest during the forbearance period in addition to possible late fees.

Will Forbearance Impact My Credit Score?

Forbearance has no negative impact on a borrower's credit rating. However, missing payments prior to contacting the lender and negotiating forbearance terms will almost certainly have a negative effect.

As mandated by the CARES Act, lenders must report forbearance assistance provided to mortgage borrowers affected by COVID-19 to credit bureaus, but this will not have a negative impact on the borrower's credit score.

What Is Mortgage Forbearance?

Forbearance on a mortgage occurs when the company that services your mortgage allows you to suspend or reduce your monthly mortgage payments for a specified time period. It is important to note that forbearance does not eliminate any of your payments; any missed or reduced payments will still be due.

Does Forbearance Affect Refinancing?

Yes, refinancing is prohibited if you are in forbearance. Any missed mortgage payments will prevent you from being eligible for refinancing with the majority of financial institutions. However, each person's circumstances are unique, and each mortgage lender has different rules. It is essential to inquire with mortgage providers about your situation.

How Do I Get Out from Forbearance?

After the forbearance period expires, you are responsible for the missed payment. There are many options from which to choose. A reinstatement signifies that you will owe the total amount immediately. Repayment permits you to bring your mortgage current over a period of time, typically 12 months. This is the repayment plan that you and your mortgage servicer have agreed upon.

Is it Possible to Extend My Forbearance?

Yes, you will typically be permitted to extend your forbearance. Typically, extension periods range from 12 to 18 months, but this can vary depending on the service provider.