The servicer can talk with you to see if you are eligible for a Deferment or Forbearance which could reduce or temporarily suspend your scheduled payment. You will be required to complete paperwork with your loan servicer if you qualify for the Deferment or Forbearance status. You should NEVER stop making payments until you have been placed in a status with the loan servicer, which allows you to not make payments.
Some Deferment conditions may be:
Forbearance allows you to postpone or reduce your scheduled monthly payment for a limited specified period of time. A forbearance may be granted when you are temporarily not able to make your scheduled payment for reasons such as, financial hardship, illness, etc. Interest accrues during the forbearance. If you do not pay interest during the forbearance, interest will be capitalized (added to the principal balance) at the end of the forbearance period.
Students may prepay their loans at any time without penalty or you may request a shorter repayment schedule.
Once you begin repaying your loans, if the accrued interest and any outstanding late charges have been paid, then any extra amount you pay above your regular required monthly payment will reduce the outstanding principal balance of your loans.