If you’re a student loan borrower, there is a lot of information out there that can be overwhelming and it can be hard to keep all the information straight. Maybe you’ve heard some terms but don’t remember what it is or how it applies to you. Chances are if you have student loans you’ve heard of a forbearance. Some student loan borrowers will end up in a forbearance but might not fully comprehend what one is.

What is a forbearance? A forbearance is something you can put your student loans into so that you temporarily don’t have to make payments. You can apply for a forbearance for up to 12 months at a time. It may sound pretty good to put off payments for a whole year, but your loans will continue to accrue interest.

A deferment is a period of time in which repayment of your principal loan balance and interest of your loans are temporarily delayed. So, unlike a forbearance, your loans do not accrue interest while in deferment. The government, depending on what type of loans you carry, will actually take care of the interest for you. The government will pay interest on Federal Perkins Loans, Direct Subsidized loans, and/or Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans. They do not pay interest on any unsubsidized loans or and PLUS loans. The borrower is responsible for paying the interest that accumulates during the deferment period. However, your payment will not be due during the period.