If you’re struggling to repay your student loans, you’re not alone. Millions of borrowers are currently in default, and as education costs continue to rise and job markets continue to shrink, more and more recent graduates wonder how they will make their monthly payment. There is a lot of help available for struggling borrowers, including loan forgiveness and other forms of relief. Before you default on your loan and risk serious financial consequences, consider these options and talk to one of our experienced student loan attorneys.
Student Loan Forgiveness and IBR
The government has recently expanded federal loan forgiveness programs and income based repayment (IBR) options. Those pursuing a qualifying public service career are eligible for loan forgiveness.
The federal loan forgiveness program forgives the remaining balance of your federal loans after a decade of full time employment in a qualifying public service position and 120 consecutive months of timely repayment.
No matter what career path you’re on, if you’re having a hard time with your monthly payments you may be able to take advantage of an income-driven repayment plan. These repayment schedules set your monthly payment amount based on what you’re earning. Depending on what plan you qualify for, your payment will generally be between 10 and 15% of your monthly discretionary income. Regardless of what you are earning, this amount will never be more than it would on the 10-year standard repayment plan. This option lets struggling borrowers pay what they can afford so they can meet their other financial obligations. Best of all, if you stick to your plan for the entire repayment period, 20 to 25 years depending on what schedule you qualify for, any remaining balance will be forgiven.
Student Loan Relief
Federal loans have a number of other relief programs designed to help borrowers stay out of default. Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for payment deferment, forbearance, or suspension. Although interest will continue to accrue if your loan repayments are in forbearance or suspension, interest will no longer accrue during deferment if you have a subsidized loan.
If you’re having trouble keeping up with your loans, you aren’t alone. An Ohio student loan attorney may be able to help you. Luckily, there are many options for relief. Contact a student loan attorney to find out more about the help that’s available for borrowers in trouble. Don’t forget that default should never be an option. Defaulting exposes you to a number of financial hardships including garnished wages, tax refund seizure, and a damaged credit score. Additionally, it makes your entire loan balance due immediately and drastically limits your options for forgiveness and other relief.