What Will Happen to My Unmanageable Private Student Loans?


Dear Steve,

I graduated college in 2014 and made payments (got my co-signer off after 24 consecutive payments) until the winter of 2018.

I stopped working because I had to stay home with my baby. Then I was in deferment. Covid 19 happened, and I’ve been in deferment since this month when my private loan company informed me they no longer offer deferment for COVID 19. I no longer qualify for regular deferment.

I clean homes and make about $600-$800 a month. I stay home with my toddlers, and my boyfriend works.

I can’t afford to make $600 payments on my private student loans. We’re barely making ends meet together; I’m at the point where I will also be filing for bankruptcy since I can’t afford $23000 in credit card debt( mind you, my student loan debt is over 80k).

My question is, what will happen when I stop paying my student loans, and will filing bankruptcy for credit card debt affect anything? Should I not file for bankruptcy?

I’m lost. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



Dear Cathy,

This feels like an emotional rollercoaster and a soal crusher. Your situation is a math problem when you strip away all the rest.

What Will Happen to My Unmanageable Private Student Loans?Given your income, it appears you can’t afford the requested payments. So I think you should read my post The Ultimate Guide to Dealing With Student Loans You Can’t Afford.

This is a massive problem with private student loans. They don’t offer as much flexibility as federal student loans.

At least you were one of the lucky few to get your co-signer off the loan. But unfortunately, most have not been able to do that.

Filing for bankruptcy won’t impact private student loans like credit cards. However, it would be best if you considered filing bankruptcy to eliminate the rest of the debt to make room to get by each month.

There are reasons why some private student loans are dischargeable in bankruptcy, so talk to your bankruptcy attorney about your specific situation, the school you went to, and if they have had luck dealing with this in bankruptcy.

Dealing with private student loans in bankruptcy is a growing set of skills. More attorneys are digging deeper to learn more. The post I suggested has information that can help you and your attorney.


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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.
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3 thoughts on “What Will Happen to My Unmanageable Private Student Loans?”

  1. In addition to what Steve suggested you might also consider doing nothing. At least for now. You are not earning wages. Your self-employment money can’t really be touched. Bankruptcy is expensive. Right now you are judgment proof. You don’t have to pay the student loan or the credit card debt. Also there is a chance there may be a change in bankruptcy laws regarding student loans. At least there is some talk. Waiting won’t hurt especially since its highly unlikely you could discharge the private student loan unless they were a fraud outfit. Eric HELPS Nonprofit law firm


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