Student loan debt relief options are more difficult than other unsecured debts. Bankruptcy law does not allow debtors to file bankruptcy on student loan debts unless they can prove that repaying the debts would create an undue hardship. With graduate school debts on the rise and current job market conditions, undue hardship may be more of a reality than ever before.
Student Loan Debt Relief
If you have incurred student loan debt for college and possibly graduate school, you may find yourself with a serious amount of debt. When you enter the workforce and are unable to make ends meet despite your education due to the high cost of student loans, you may wonder if you have any viable options for relief. It can be stressful to be financially overwhelmed, and if you have a family to support, having a lot of debt can really limit your career choices and other options. If you are struggling to make student loan payments, here are some options for student loan debt relief that may prove helpful:
- Alternative repayment programs may be available. An extended loan term may decrease your monthly payments. Talk to your lenders about this and other possible options.
- Apply for an economic hardship deferment to reduce or suspend monthly payments until you are able to make more money.
- Federal loans may qualify for an income specific or income based repayment plan.
- Contact your lender and try to negotiate a lower interest rate, or seek a debt consolidation loan.
- If you have been in an accident or suffered a disability, you should request a loan cancellation or consider filing for bankruptcy under undue hardship doctrine.
- If you have fallen behind, but you previously paid monthly payments on your loan in good faith, you may request a deferment. Or, ask for a forbearance which allows you to reduce your payments until you get back on track.
Getting Legal Help
If you feel that you need relief from excessive debts, including student loans, discuss your case with an experienced bankruptcy attorney immediately. Make sure that the attorney has handled student loan debt cases previously. An attorney with experience handling a student loan debt, undue hardship case can assist you with making the best possible claim. While most courts reserve student loan debt relief for the most dire circumstances, there are some cases in which judges have provided full or partial discharge of student loan debt. Talk to an attorney today about your case.