Dealing with student loans can be overwhelming. If you are having trouble finding a job or not earning what you thought you would be, simply making the minimum payments can be impossible. Here is what you may be able to do when you can’t make your student loan payments.
We are not recommending that you stop making your student loan payments, as this can have a significant effect on your credit record and can lead to collection proceedings, including lawsuits and wage garnishment, being instituted against you. In addition, not all of these options may be available to you depending upon the identity of your lender and the type of loan you have (e.g. government-backed or private loan).
- Apply for a deferment.
Depending on your lender and the type of loan you have, you may be able to apply for a deferment. This means you are deferring, or postponing, your payments for a specific period of time. Applying for a deferment most likely will require paperwork to prove why you are asking for this deferment. If you are unemployed or facing economic hardship, you may qualify. In this case, your loans may still be accruing interest.
- Work with your lender for a payment plan.
If you don’t qualify for a deferment, call your lender to explain your situation. They may be able to help you come up with a better payment plan based on your income or current financial situation.
- Put your loans in forbearance.
You may be able to stop paying on your loan for a certain amount of time, usually a few months, to stop the loan from heading into default and/or to a collection agency. This could cost an initial fee, and the loan may be accruing interest while it’s in forbearance.
- Explore loan forgiveness.
While it is not easy, exploring the possibility of loan forgiveness is another way to deal with the debt. With loan forgiveness, you work a certain job or volunteer to have a portion of your loans forgiven. For example, you can serve with the AmeriCorps, Peace Corps or other volunteer organizations. Depending upon your field, you may be able to sign up to work in an area lacking teachers or medical care professionals.
If your loans go into default and you are being contacted by a debt collector, call The Law Firm of Mitch Luxenburg’s experienced fair debt collection attorneys toll-free at (877) 846-1209 to find out how we can help you. You can also complete our online form for a free FDCPA case review. The debt collector has to pay your legal fees so you’ll be charged nothing for your case, even if you lose.