Payments on your student loans are due after the post-graduation grace period has expired. Graduates entering internships and residencies may encounter difficulty in making payments on their loans during their training because of the low salaries associated with these positions. With 49.2% of year-2010 graduates opting to pursue advanced training, the need for deferment options becomes more apparent.
You may be eligible for deferment or forbearance of your educational debt for up to 3 years. Although this may appear an obvious solution, it does have long-term consequences that may not make it a good choice for you. If it is the only option short of defaulting on your loan, try to avoid a deferment or forbearance on your debt.
A deferment or forbearance on your student loan lets you avoid making loan payments during the time of the deferment/forbearance, but will increase the total life-of-loan cost and increase the time it will take you to fully repay the loan.
For more information about the consequences of defaulting on your educational debt, read the "Avoiding Default" section.
To determine if you are likely to qualify for an economic hardship deferment, use the FinAid Economic Hardship Deferment Calculator.