Are you struggling to repay student loans, are delinquent on your student loans, or have already defaulted on your student loans? Do you know your student loan options? You may be able to get temporary or permanent relief from making student loan payments. This is just one option. Learn more about student loan repayment to keep your debt under control.
Do You Know Your Student Loan Options?
One common mistake that struggling student loan borrowers make is to postpone payment on their student loan when better options may be available. Deferment and forbearance are temporary fixes (1-3 years) and do not address underlying financial issues which may require budget counseling.
When you postpone your student loans, you are most likely responsible for paying the interest. This will increase the amount you owe. Therefore, you should ask yourself if you will be able to make a higher payment in the future? Will you have your credit card debt under control? Will you have a substantial growth in your income by then?
Your Student Loan Options
Most borrowers have a few options for repayment.
- Eliminating the loan altogether through loan cancellation
- Considering other, more affordable payment plans or loan consolidation. Monthly payments on some income-driven plans can be as low as $0.
- Postponing payments through deferment or forbearance programs to avoid delinquency/default
What If You Are Delinquent or Default on Your Loans?
If you have are delinquent or in default on your loans (1-270 days behind on loan payments), you must take action to avoid default! When you default on your student loans, you will suffer negative consequences. For example:
- Your credit will be damaged.
- Your loan balance will increase dramatically as collection fees of up to 18-25% of loan balance are added.
- The IRS can intercept any income tax refund you may be entitled to until your student loans are paid in full.
- The government can take (“garnish”) a limited portion of your paycheck.
- The government can take some federal benefit payments (including Social security retirement benefits and Social Security disability benefits) as reimbursement for student loans.
- Private lenders and the government can sue you to collect defaulted student loans. Unlike other debts, there is no time limit on suing to collect student loans — you can be sued indefinitely.
Don’t get discouraged if you are in default! Our debt counselors can help you explore your options for getting out of default including loan repayment (payment can be as low as $0), loan rehabilitation, and loan consolidation.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.