The Meaning of Forbearance: What It Is and How To Use It

What is the meaning of forbearance, and how can it be used generally and with regard to loan payments? Keep reading to learn more.

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You may have heard the word forbearance used referring to loans and payments on things like mortgages and student loans. However, this term can also be used more generally. 

This article will explain the multiple meanings of the word forbearance as well as synonyms of forbearance, antonyms, translations, and example sentences containing the word forbearance. 

What Does the Word Forbearance Mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, forbearance is the quality of having patience and self-control. If someone is forbearance or forbearing, they are patient and tempered. The pronunciation of forbearance is fɔːˈbɛərəns.

Forbearance in Loan Payments

According to Investopedia, forbearance can also be used in real estate or business to refer to the suspension of a monthly mortgage payment to a mortgage lender or creditor from a borrower or debtor while interest continues to accrue. It can also mean the postponement of the enforcement of a legal right. 

This is usually used to buy time and avoid foreclosure on a mortgage loan. A forbearance period could be used due to illness, job loss, or other extenuating circumstances and financial difficulties. 

Forbearance does not only apply to a monthly mortgage statement but could also be applied to other kinds of monthly loan payments such as federal student loan forbearance. Forbearance might be repaid to a mortgage servicer or loan servicers in a lump-sum repayment, a payment plan, or other types of repayment options for the agreed forbearance amount.

While forbearance itself will not have a negative impact on your credit rating from credit bureaus, serious problems can occur when you decide not to make monthly payments and get charged late fees. If you have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan, you can apply for forbearance at any time if you experience financial hardship.

How Can We Use Forbearance in a Sentence?

Forbearance can be used in a financial or legal sense to talk about loan repayment or in a more general sense to discuss patience and self-control. It is important to know how to use and identify the word forbearance in each of these contacts. 

By studying the example sentences below, you can learn how to use forbearance in a sentence. Try writing your own example sentence!

The homeowners applied for forbearance when they could not pay their mortgage due to the inactivity of the job payment. They were right to do this rather than go into foreclosure.

Their type of loan did not allow for any sort of delay or forbearance in payment, so their house went into foreclosure. They tried to get a loan modification, but it did not work.

She showed great forbearance with the chaotic twin boys she was babysitting but later went home and screamed into her pillow out of frustration. 

What Are Translations of Forbearance?

The concept of forbearance is not exclusive to English, and translations of forbearance are present in many world languages. You can study this list of translations of forbearance to learn how to discuss loan repayment and patience with others. 

  • Thai: ความอดทน
  • Bulgarian: Търпение
  • Swedish: tålamod
  • Urdu: بدمعاش
  • Tamil: பொறுமை
  • Malayalam: സഹിക്കുന്ന
  • Slovenian: strpnost
  • Polish: wyrozumiałość
  • Italian: tolleranza
  • Basque: debekutasun
  • Greek: ανοχή
  • Chinese (PRC): 忍耐
  • Russian: Терпение
  • Lithuanian: Nepakankamas
  • Estonian: kandevõime
  • Portuguese (Brazil): paciência
  • Hungarian: türelem
  • Latvian: pacietīgs
  • Turkish: hoşnutsuzluk
  • Finnish: kärsivällisyys
  • German: Nachsicht
  • Ukrainian: терпіння
  • Czech: trpělivost
  • Malay: kesabaran
  • Filipino: forbearance
  • Croatian: strpljenje
  • Dutch: verdraagzaamheid
  • Norwegian: overbærenhet
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 忍耐
  • Gujarati: સહન કરવું
  • Japanese: 警告
  • Hebrew: הַבלָגָה
  • Telugu: సహనం
  • Slovak: oplácnosť
  • Bengali: সহনশীলতা
  • French: abstention
  • Catalan: tolerància
  • Korean: 인내
  • Danish: overbærenhed
  • Spanish: paciencia
  • Indonesian: kesabaran
  • Amharic: ትዕግሥት
  • Romanian: toleranţă
  • Arabic: الصبر
  • Swahili: uvumilivu.
  • Kannada: ನಿವಾರಣೆ
  • Vietnamese: Nhẫn
  • Marathi: सहनशीलता
  • Icelandic: ofbeldi
  • Portuguese (Portugal): paciência
  • Welsh: goddefgarwch
  • Hindi: सहनशीलता
  • Serbian: прикупљање

What Are Synonyms of the Word Forbearance?

Since the word forbearance is often regarding loan payments and mortgages, it may be best to know synonyms that do not carry this connotation. In order to learn synonyms of the word forbearance, reference this list from Power Thesaurus:

  • abnegation
  • abstention
  • abstention
  • abstinence
  • acceptance
  • altruism
  • amiability
  • avoidance
  • benevolence
  • benignity
  • broad-mindedness
  • calmness
  • charitableness
  • charity
  • chastity
  • clemencies
  • clemency
  • commiseration
  • compassion
  • composure
  • condonation
  • consideration
  • continence
  • cordiality
  • denial
  • endurance
  • equanimity
  • favor
  • forbearing
  • forgiveness
  • fortitude
  • frugality
  • gentleness
  • grace
  • humaneness
  • humanity
  • indulgence
  • indulgences
  • kindness
  • kindnesses
  • laxness
  • lenience
  • leniency
  • lenity
  • liberalism
  • liberality
  • liberalness
  • living with
  • long-suffering
  • longanimity
  • magnanimity
  • meekness
  • mercifulness
  • mercy
  • mildness
  • moderateness
  • moderation
  • open-mindedness
  • pardon
  • patience
  • patientness
  • permissiveness
  • pity
  • quarter
  • refraining
  • resignation
  • resignations
  • restraint
  • self-control
  • self-denial
  • self-discipline
  • self-restraint
  • soft-heartedness
  • softness
  • stoicism
  • sufferance
  • sympathy
  • temperance
  • tenderness
  • tolerance
  • toleration
  • understanding

What Are Antonyms of the Word Forbearance?

There are also many words that have the opposite meaning of the word forbearance, which you can find in this list from Power Thesaurus:

  • abhorrent behavior
  • abominable behavior
  • absolute rejection
  • abusive behavior
  • aggression
  • aggressive behavior
  • aggressiveness
  • aggro
  • allergic reaction
  • anger
  • animosity
  • annoyance
  • antagonism
  • antagonistic behavior
  • appalling behavior
  • assassination
  • assault
  • atrocious behavior
  • atrocity
  • attack
  • austerity
  • authoritarianism
  • avarice
  • bad manners
  • badness
  • beastliness
  • beheading
  • bellicosity
  • belligerence
  • belligerent behavior
  • bitchiness
  • brutality
  • callousness
  • capital punishment
  • cattiness
  • cold-heartedness
  • combative behavior
  • combativeness
  • confrontational behavior
  • continuation
  • controversy
  • cruelty
  • edginess
  • greed
  • harshness
  • impatience
  • indulgence
  • intolerance
  • involvement
  • madness
  • meanness
  • pursual
  • resentment
  • severity
  • sternness
  • use
  • violence
  • zero tolerance


The word forbearance can be used in a general sense to refer to patience and self-control. It can also be used to refer to a pause on loan or mortgage payments by a creditor.


  1. Forbearance synonyms – 596 Words and Phrases for Forbearance | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Forbearance antonyms – 364 Opposites of Forbearance | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Forbearance Definition | Investopedia 
  4. Forbearance definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  5. Forbearance | ​​ Nice Translator