Interest keeps accruing even when you defer
Deferring the payments on your loan doesn’t mean interest stops accruing. Interest is the rate you pay for borrowing money or for delaying a payment. It’s sort of like a rental fee for borrowing money. Government loans (otherwise known as subsidized loans) are only available to undergraduate students based on financial need. When you defer your subsidized loan payments, the government will make payments on the interest while the loan is deferred. Unsubsidized loans are for graduate and undergraduate students and are not based on financial need. For these types of loans, you are responsible for the interest that accrues during the deferment period.
You can defer when you’re in school
Any time you’re enrolled in an accredited school program, you’re eligible for deferment, as long as you’re at least a part-time student. Deferring your loan while in school is a good idea if you’re not working and don’t have income. However, if you have the time for a part-time job, it could be beneficial to pay even a small portion of your loan so you don’t have to defer your payments.
After college, if you lose your job you can have your loan payments deferred. In order to temporarily stop making payments, contact your servicer to apply for a loan deferment.