Use the steps below to help you make a plan for resolving your student loan problem.
What type of loan do you have?
There are many different types of student loans. Most student loans are federal government loans. Since 2010, most of these loans are made directly by the government. This is known as the Direct Loan Program. There are also many older loans made by private lenders, but guaranteed by the government.
You can find the answer to this question by visiting https://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/
If you are behind on payments, have you already gone into default?
Some programs are available only before you go into default. If you are not sure of your status, go to the federal loan default and delinquency section or the private loan default and delinquency section to learn more. You can still consolidate your loans if you are in default by visiting https://studentloans.gov or contacting our agency at 855-258-6488.
Are you eligible for a loan discharge?
Regardless of whether you are in default, you should consider whether you can discharge your loan outside of bankruptcy. Discharging a student loan in bankruptcy is hard, but not impossible, to do.
If a discharge is not available, can you postpone repayment?
If you are not yet in default, you should check to see if you qualify for one of the deferment programs. You may receive a deferment or forbearance that allows you to temporarily postpone or reduce your federal student loan payments. During a deferment, you do not need to make payments.
Refer to https://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/deferment-forbearance for more information about deferment or forbearance.
Could you pay your student loan if your monthly payment was more affordable?
Depending on your loans and the servicer of your loans you may be able to do an Income-Based Repayment (IBR) which is designed to reduce your monthly payments to assist with making your student loan debt manageable.
There are also special programs to help you get out of default on federal loans and get into an affordable repayment plan.
For more information about the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-based
What can you do if collection has already begun?
You have a few options if your loans are in collection. You can call the collection agency and setup a rehabilitation agreement or contact us at 855-258-6488 if you want to consider doing a student loan consolidation with professional assistance. You can also do the consolidation on your own by visiting studentloans.gov