Deferment and Forbearance
Under certain circumstances, you can receive a deferment or forbearance that allows you to temporarily stop making your federal student loan payments or to temporarily reduce the amount of your federal student loan payments. Stopping or reducing your payments may help you avoid default. The main difference is that with a deferment, you may not be responsible for paying the interest that accrues on certain types of loans during the deferment period. Your loans are automatically put into deferment if you are a student in a degree granting program and enrolled at least ½ time.
You'll need to work with your loan servicer to apply for deferment or forbearance; and be sure to keep making payments on your loan until the deferment or forbearance is in place. Your loan servicer will notify you if further information is needed or if you do not qualify.
Visit Federal Student Aid for further details.