- The amount of money a borrower owes to others.
- A student who is either married, 24 years of age or older, enrolled in a graduate or professional education program, has legal dependents other than a spouse, is an orphan or ward of the court, or a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
- A temporary postponement of payments during which the borrower is attending an approved school at least part-time (at least half-time for federal loans).
- The fee charged to borrow money over time. Interest is generally disclosed and computed as an annual percentage of the principal amount owed.
- The federal government's payment of accrued interest on eligible federal loans during in-school and deferment periods. For subsidized Stafford Loans with a first disbursement prior to July 1, 2012, the federal government also pays the accrued interest during the 6 month grace period.
- A student who is not a citizen or resident of the U.S. who plans to attend or is attending a U.S. college, university, or other post-secondary educational institution.