What it is: Mandatory Forbearance, sometimes called "Excessive Debt Forbearance," allows you to postpone your student loans in certain cases of economic hardship. If you qualify for this forbearance, you cannot be denied, and the Department of Education has released a single application form which is valid for all federal student loan servicers.
Qualifying loans: You qualify for this forbearance if the payments on your federal student loans are greater than 20% of your monthly income.
Note: "Mandatory" here means that the servicers are required to allow it, not that you are required to use it. This makes it different from other kinds of forbearance, which are generally granted at the lender or servicer’s discretion.
Forbearance time is limited, so do not use it unless you really need to.
What you'll need: Documentation of your federal student loan debt and your income.
Send the form to: Your servicer (the company that sends you the bills). If you don’t know who that is, you can go to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®) to find out.