Forbearance is an agreement between a borrower and their lender to reduce or postpone repayment for a designated period of time based on meeting specific conditions. For most federal student loans in the borrower's own name, forbearances typically is granted for no more than 12 months at a time. Interest continues to accrue during forbearance. If the interest is not paid, then the amount will be capitalized once the loan enters into repayment again.