Gap Year and College Loan Repayment

Question: I just completed my freshman year of college and would like to take a year off to do community service abroad and to reevaluate what my future career plan will be. I am wondering how that will impact re-entering sophomore year at my college when I return. Is this considered a deferment even though I have completed my first year? Please advise. Also, what about my current loans? Can payment be deferred or just interest paid? Thank you.

Taking a "gap year" while in college is a common practice, and you shouldn't have too much difficulty arranging with your current school to do so. However, each college has its own policies, so you'll have to check with a dean or other administrator to see how to proceed. Chances are, you will take an official leave of absence, which means that the college will hold a place for you when you return from your time off. Deferred students entering freshman year typically must submit a deposit to have their place held but leave-of-absence students often do not.

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