A deferral is a term that is usually applied in financial practices, particularly for loans, debts, and credit cards. To defer a loan or payment simply means to postpone the actual time in which is repayment is to be made.
The process for a deferral will differ depending on the financial institution. In some cases, a deferral may not be granted because it is simply not offered by the financial institution, or the applicant for a deferral does not meet the imposed criteria and qualifications to defer payments on a loan.
For example, the United States Federal Student Loans will offer a deferral period for recent college graduates, typically a total of six months after the date of graduation. However, in certain circumstances, a student may have difficulty making the payments for the loan. Certain Federal Student Loans will offer for a deferral period, depending on certain criteria, such as unemployment or overall financial hardship.