If you miss loan payments, you should know that the loan will be considered delinquent once a payment is late, meaning that the late payment may affect your credit report.
After being 270 days late in paying your federal student loan, the servicer assumes you will not pay and places your loans in default. Default is a serious situation that also harms your credit, and the penalties don't stop there:
Private/alternative loan lenders may have different timelines for when they consider you to be in default. You should check with your lender for details.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties, do not wait until you are delinquent - call your lender or servicer as soon as possible to discuss what arrangements can be made to keep your account current.
One strategy to consider is automatic payment, in which your monthly payments are automatically withdrawn from your checking account each month. This strategy makes it less likely that you will miss the occasional missed payment, and can be useful throughout the life of your loan.
Remember, you are responsible for making payments whether or not you receive a statement in the mail.