I Can’t Repay My Student Loans!


Students who are planning to graduate from college this spring or have recently graduated may be finding the going difficult in securing employment. Since last summer unemployment in some areas of the country has doubled, making it all the more of a challenge for people who are looking for work. For those college grads with a lot of student loan debt over their heads, repaying these loans may be out of the question, at least for the near future.

Defaulting Student Loan Rates

studentIn yesterday’s issue of The Wall Street Journal, Student Loans: Default Rates Are Soaring, page D1, the newspaper noted that defaults on loans has been rising sharply with much of that blame assigned to the bad economy. Some lenders are reporting that defaults are up as much as 50% over recent years, underscoring just how difficult the problem has become.

If you’re unable to pay back your loans, take heart: there are some options that you can explore which can give you temporary relief. As the WSJ article noted your options include:

  • Forbearance. This allows borrowers to put payments on hold, though they are on the hook for the interest that accrues.
  • Interest-only payments. Borrowers can defer other payments until a later date.
  • Increase the borrowing period. Allows borrowers to lower their monthly payments.

If you are running into problems making payments, you should contact your lender as soon as possible. Do not make the mistake of putting off or avoiding the problem; the sooner you address what is going on the better.

Student Loan Forgiveness

While some borrowers may be looking at having their student loans forgiven, the likelihood that a lender will permit that is virtually non-existent. However, if you decide to take certain career paths, you could find that all or part of your loans can be forgiven. Specifically, if you

  • Perform certain volunteer work;
  • Enter military service;
  • Teach or practice medicine in certain types of communities; or,
  • Meet other criteria specified by the forgiveness program…

…then you may be eligible for student loan forgiveness. Don’t assume that your loans will be forgiven; talk with your employer to learn what policies are in place.

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Categories: Student Loans