After housing, student loan debt is the second largest source of household debt, with nearly $1.4 trillion in loans outstanding as of 2018. Except in rare cases, most people owing student loans cannot discharge them in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you are burdened with multiple loans from college, graduate, trade, or professional schools, these options might give you relief.
Handling Multiple Student Loans Without Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
A debt consolidation plan can reduce confusion, frustration, and expenses when you’re coping with multiple student loan payment obligations. Under this type of plan, you combine all of your debts into one monthly payment to a service agent. Most people have two consolidation options, depending on whether their loans are federal or private obligations.
If you have federal student loans, a direct consolidation loan may be your better option. Loans that qualify include the Direct PLUS Loan for parents, and there is no charge to apply. When you apply, you can change your repayment terms from your current arrangement, including taking longer to pay, so you have a lower monthly amount.
If your loans are from private lenders, federal loans, or a combination, you can refinance them. A private refinancing lender may lower your interest rate if you have a good credit score and reliable income. Variable and fixed rates are available, which gives you more flexibility. There are some drawbacks, such as losing eligibility for federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-based payment plans.
Choosing a student loan debt consolidation plan may help you avoid filing a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. It’s wise to discuss your entire situation with an experienced attorney before deciding. Backed by almost 20 years of experience, The Gil Law Firm in Dothan, AL, helps students in debt throughout Alabama, Florida, and Georgia find relief. Visit their website to learn more about their practice, or call (334) 673-0100 to schedule a consultation with a Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy attorney today.