OPTIONS FOR STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS
Aug. 4, 2017
Student loan debt is a tremendous burden. Many people borrow money to get an education, only to find out that it is difficult to repay.
Student loans are almost never dischargeable in bankruptcy—even though you may eliminate your other debts, you will still be required to repay your student loans.
If you are struggling with your student loans, here are some things for you to consider:
Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness. Teachers who teach in low-income areas for 5 consecutive years may have all or part of their student loans forgiven. The amount that can be forgiven depends on the type of student loans you have, and not all student loans qualify. For more information, visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/teacher.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The future of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is unclear; however, as of this writing it is still an option for dealing with student loans. People who work for the government, non-profits, or other qualifying public services are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. This program allows the balance of your student loan to be forgiven after 120 qualifying payments have been made. For more information, visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. If student loans are only one of your financial problems, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help. During a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which lasts from 3-5 years, creditors, including student loan creditors, cannot contact you to try to collect your debts. You make regular payments that you can afford based on your income, and the payments go towards your debts. At the end of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will no longer owe your other unsecured creditors. You will still owe your student loans, but you will have additional income available to pay them. Our office can help you determine if Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be a good fit for you.
Employer Repayment. Many employers are offering to pay student loans as a benefit of employment. You can talk to your employer to see if they would be willing to offer that benefit to you. If your current employer isn’t offering this benefit, consider if it might make sense to switch to a company that offers student loan repayment to its employees.
Student loans can be confusing and stressful to deal with, but you don’t have to do it alone.
There are many resources available to help you. Our office can answer your questions about your student loans and help you find the best solution for your specific situation.