The illusion around student loans is one that has been impacting American families and borrowers for years, leaving millions of people stuck in several thousands of dollars of debt post-undergraduate, graduate or professional school. Right now, there are currently more than 44 million borrowers that owe over $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. If that number stresses you out, then get this – nearly 2 million of those borrowers have student loan debt that is larger than $100,000. That’s enough money to buy a house, multiple cars, or take several “eat, pray, love” trips around the world.
With the feeling that there is no student loan debt relief insight, it can be incredibly enticing to want to run away from the of student loans, given that they are among one of the biggest financial reasons why several millennials feel that they have not been able to kick start or achieve their journeys of financial freedom. Some people opt to not pay their student loans, but the impacts of defaulting on student loan payments are severely damaging to your credit score and can incur fees and interest that make your financial situation worse. But depending on your case there could be a way to loosen the invisible grip that student loans have on your mental wellbeing.
The first thing to do before giving up on your student loans altogether is to determine if you qualify for any government loan forgiveness programs. Now, in order to receive loan forgiveness through the government, there are very strict guidelines and rules you must follow and keep tabs on. For example, the U.S. Department of Education offers a full loan forgiveness plan for teachers, but they must 1) work as a full-time teacher for at least five consecutive academic years, 2) they must work at an educational institution that is listed on the DOE’s Low-Income School Directory and 3) they must have a clean history of uninterrupted payments. Check out this list to see if you may qualify for these top loan forgiveness programs.
If you know that your federal loans aren’t going to be forgiven any time soon, then we highly recommend that you look into federal loan consolidation options. If you currently have different federal student loans, you may be dealing with the unnecessary stress and frustration of having to pay multiple minimums and interest amounts that are crippling your ability to live day-to-day. Student loan consolidation helps by allowing you to combine all these different payments into one lump sum that you pay once a month. By consolidating your student loans, you receive a Direct Consolidation Loan with a fixed interest rate; the only caveat is that by lumping all your payments together, it could lengthen the amount of time you need to repay the loan or increase your interest over time.
It can be difficult and time consuming to find a debt consolidation program that is right for you based on your situation and financial history, which is why some people avoid exploring this path altogether. However, there are great services out there like Docupop that will not only help you find a repayment plan that fit your budget and lifestyle but will also assist you with the entire application process to maximize your chances of getting approved. Whether you’re looking to lower your monthly payments or get your debt forgiven, Docupop can help you find out if you qualify.
America’s national debt crisis is one that is on the minds of many, including our current day lawmakers, so we know that at some point, something must be done to repair how we finance our higher education system. But until these changes are made, we hope that you will have the confidence to find creative ways like the ones we suggested in this post to confidently take on your student loan debt and not let it control or ruin your life.