Some schools hire companies to encourage grads to seek forbearance, one recent government report found.

Postponing payment on student loans can be tempting for many new graduates who feel cash-crunched, but doing so can lead to ballooning payments down the road.

Borrowers can postpone their monthly loan payments with forbearance, but unpaid interest during forbearance still accrues and capitalizes. This means accrued interest is added to the principal, and the interest will be calculated based on the new, higher balance.

"I went the forbearance route, and it added thousands of dollars to my loan balance," says Cornelius Davis Jr. of Atlanta, who earned both his bachelor's and graduate degree from Jackson State University in Mississippi. "Not being in position to start repayment, l decided to put it in forbearance [after earning a graduate degree] and ended up leaving it there for close to seven years."

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