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First Comes Student Debt, Then the Deferment Deals

In general, lenders will grant deferments in the event of a job loss or if you move on to graduate school and don't earn much income.

It's not the best situation -- after all, deferment is only one step away from outright default.

But if you can't make your student loan payments, don't beat yourself up. You're hardly alone, as the TransUnion figures attest. And deferment can buy you some much-needed time to catch up on your college debt and allow you to get on with your life.