Loan agreements, like any contract, reflect an "offer," the "acceptance of the offer," "consideration," and can only involve situations that are "legal" (a term loan agreement involving heroin drug sales is not "legal"). Loan agreements are documented via their commitment letters, agreements that reflect the understandings reached between the involved parties, a promissory note, and a collateral agreement (such as a mortgage or a personal guarantee). Loan agreements offered by regulated banks are different from those that are offered by finance companies in that banks receive a "banking charter" granted as a privilege and involving the "public trust."
The loan deferment process involves contacting the lender, submitting a deferment application, and undergoing the application process. The actual process can vary by lender. Other factors taken into account include the borrower's credit history, type of loan, and number of payments being deferred. Approval can take less than 24 hours to several weeks.
Deferred payments are usually placed at the end of the loan and payment terms extended. The type of loan is a contributing factor as to how many payments can be skipped. On average, lenders allow borrowers two to three months to resolve financial setbacks.
Be careful applying for private loans with banks. If your bank requires a co-borrower to sign on the agreement before the loan is sanctioned, make sure that your co-borrower has a good enough credit history. Not having a good credit history could jeopardize your chances of getting the private student loan that you would have otherwise got stand alone.