While interest may start accumulating on your loan as soon as it is disbursed, there are certain periods during which you may be able to avoid paying interest.
For federal loans, there are two types of periods during which interest does not accrue: the grace period and deferment.
The grace period is a period of time after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, during which you are not required to make payments on your loan.
During this time, interest will not accrue on subsidized federal loans.
Subsidized loans are awarded based on financial need and the federal government pays the interest while the borrower is in school, during the grace period, and during deferment periods.
However, interest will continue to accrue on unsubsidized federal loans, which are not awarded based on financial need.
If you are unable to make payments on your loan during the grace period, you may be eligible for deferment.
Deferment is a period of time during which you may be able to temporarily postpone your loan payments.