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Home > Reader Questions > How Can I Lower My Student Loan Payments? – Marq

How Can I Lower My Student Loan Payments? – Marq

I was what people would probably consider a disadvantaged student living close to the poverty income line when I first started college. Financial aid was critical for me to be able to attend college. My real debt started when financial aid officials informed me after the semester had started that I had a large balance in my account that financial aid could not cover. Without any advise I feel I made a terrible mistake, I put my tuition on a credit card. It happened around 10 years ago or more, so I don’t recall the exact amount, but it was in the thousands. In fact it may have been between $8,000-18,000.

As a working student I would usually pay something close to the minimum because it was all I could afford.

After I graduated I started a Masters program and the University advised me to take out more student loans. While a student I worked low paying internships and temp jobs to get by, meanwhile my credit card debt went up and down depending on my situation.

After I finall y finished with my graduate degree I spent a few months without a job and some working in more low paying temp jobs. During this time I kept deferring my student loans. Eventually I started working with nonprofit and government, always in public service earning little. Now my credit card debt is at about $20,000, and my student private loans with Sallie Mae are about $92,000, and my US Department of Education loans are at $156,000. That’s about a quarter of a million dollars in debt.

So I filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in July 2010, to at least do something about the unsecured debt so I can finally focus on the student loans. (By the way, I know about the debt forgiveness for public service, but the info for the Dept of Education says I have to be making minimum payments for 10 years.) At this point, I stopped making all my student loan and credit card payments and am waiting to hear back from the court to see if I was granted the discharge for my unsecured debts. I’m no t using a lawyer, so I have no one to ask about the process.

My question is, during these extreme circumstances is there anything I can do to negotiate the amounts I owe with my student loan lenders?

Also, is there a nonprofit organization I can trust that can help me and guide me? I ask because I have some distrust of lawyers and fear that their best interest is making money and not really helping me as cheaply as possible.

Marq

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Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • James Margist

    Hello Marq,

    I understand this can be a very frustrating situation to deal with. The only think schools care about is getting their tuition paid, the only think private lenders care about is getting their money back (with lots and lots of interest). There are a few companies out there that deal with this very issue that you need help with. I used one in particular called SL Consulting and Advisory. They were very helpful and really worked hard to make my payments affordable. They dealt with all of my loan servicers on my behalf. It was really very helpful. At the end they were able to significantly lower my payments and they also took care of my taxes.. they said that were beneficial for me that a lot of accountants don’t include when dealing with student loan debt.

    I am very happy with the service. Their website is http://www.sladvice.com and the person I dealt with was Joseph. I think his direct line is (310) 571-5377

    Hope this gets resolved for you

    -James

  • James Margist

    Hello Marq,

    I understand this can be a very frustrating situation to deal with. The only think schools care about is getting their tuition paid, the only think private lenders care about is getting their money back (with lots and lots of interest). There are a few companies out there that deal with this very issue that you need help with. I used one in particular called SL Consulting and Advisory. They were very helpful and really worked hard to make my payments affordable. They dealt with all of my loan servicers on my behalf. It was really very helpful. At the end they were able to significantly lower my payments and they also took care of my taxes.. they said that were beneficial for me that a lot of accountants don’t include when dealing with student loan debt.

    I am very happy with the service. Their website is http://www.sladvice.com and the person I dealt with was Joseph. I think his direct line is (310) 571-5377

    Hope this gets resolved for you

    -James

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