Home > Student Loan Help – Discharge, Eliminate, Settle or Adjustment Assistance

Student Loan Help – Discharge, Eliminate, Settle or Adjustment Assistance

For the past year or so I’ve been writing about student loans and the seemingly impossible task of dealing with them. As a result of my research I wrote the free guide The Ultimate Guide to Dealing With Student Loans You Can’t Afford.

I’ve also seen a rise in the number of companies that are selling student loan assistance programs. Many are expensive and problematic. I wrote about that in Student Loan Assistance Rescue Scams On the Rise – Buyer Beware.

And I got a lot of heat about writing how student loans may be able to be discharged in bankruptcy. People say that’s not possible. Yet they are wrong. See How to Really Discharge Your Student Loans in Bankruptcy. Many Can. But Never Try.

And while conventional wisdom is there are few, if any solutions for student loan problems, my ongoing interest and research into this area shows that is just not true. And while reduced repayment program for government subsidized and unsubsidized loans are available for free through the Department of Education, there are also some very good solutions for private student loans as well through attorneys who specialize in this area.

Are You Struggling With Student Loans?

If you have read my free guides on how to deal with your student loans and what to look for in a good student loan assistance program and still need help, complete the form below and I’ll help you get to a knowledgeable professional who can provide you with assistance.

I receive no compensation or fee from you using this service.

“Steve

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  • Syntara Sarych

    Ok, in 2007-08, several private student loan lenders were advertizing their new private student loan product offerings with incentives such as being able to take out higher loan amounts all at once, and totally by step any involvement of your university of attendance in receipt of the loan proceeds.

    These loans advertised sending the loan proceeds directly to you, the borrower, at your home address, and YOU maintained total control of how and when to use the lender dollar amounts.

    And, with good credit, these loans could be taken out with interest rates lower than what applied to Federal Graduate Loan interest rates.

    I took the bait, finding my interest rate would be barely over 4%. Indeed lower than interest rates on Federal Graduate Loans at that time.

    In effort to do my due diligent risk assessing on taking out one of these lower interest, larger dollar amount ($40,000), private student loan products, I estimated how quickly I could pay the loans back, even if upon completing this second grad degree, I saw no rise in salary. I determined I could easily pay this type of loan back, at the stated interest rate, in five years. That meant I would have all my student loan debt (federal and private) paid in full, before I turned 60 years of age.

    Two points of concern for me were: 1) How quickly could I retire the student loan debts, because 2) I figured after age 60, health concerns were more likely and I didn’t want debts hanging around after I reached that age, but I didn’t have any firm intentions for retiring at age 66, as I felt terrific and, besides, what would I do all day, day after day, if I didn’t have my job to keep me occupied in a regular way, although at age 66, I might cut my hours some. And I wanted to do this free of debt. What could go wrong, right? Everything, that’s what.

    Well, the things most likely to mess up plans are the ones we do not consider ever happening. In 2009, with one school quarter to go in completing may second grad degree, I became suddenly and unexpectedly, totally and permanently disabled at age 54.

    My employer granted me six months full disability pay, during which time I could began the application process for total, permanent Social Security Disability Benefits. It was excruciatingly stressful, but I and my doctors got all of the SS benefits paperwork done, and I attended all appointments with the physicians the Social Security Admin wanted me to see to get second, third opinions, etc., about my health condition.

    Luckily, in my sixth month of company paid disability, I got my Social Security Disability Benefits award letter, so that I wouldn’t have to do without any source of income in the transition between company paid disability, and Social Security Disability Benefits income.

    All that was pretty smooth, but there was one major problem: My SS disability monthly income turned out to be just 30% of the income I earned when working full time. Still, my disability benefit each month, was too much for me to qualify for the extra Social Security Supplemental Income, yet way too little for us to continue paying the debt load we had. We filed for Chapter 7 BK, and received a full discharge, without having to sacrifice our home in the process. There was just one little problem.

    Our bankruptcy lawyer would not touch the private student loan debts I’d racked up. My Federal Student Loan debt was totally wiped out, forgiven, because of my total, permanent disability.

    We have struggled considerably with this remaining private student loan debt still on our books in the years since our BK discharge due mostly to the fact that my health care costs since the total disability diagnosis have gone up and down and up again as changes to health care law, health care coverage, and my health condition, have all taken their toll. Some months, we could pay on the private student loans remaining, other months, out of pocket health care expenses have prohibited us from making the monthly minimum payment.

    Accordingly, we haven’t seen much true reduction in the balance owed since the onset of my disability. What makes it even more frustrating is knowing that in many nations in Europe, and Israel, for that matter, citizens of those nations have no concept of what it is like to be an American citizen, shackled to Student Loan and or health care debts for the majority of one’s life.

    I know, for example, that a good friend of mine who is a U.K. citizen with single payer health care in the U.K., has a total monthly health care cost that never varies, and is a constant $26 in U.S. dollars equivalent taken from her bank account each month to FULLY cover ALL her possible health care expenses. Further, if you look up data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO — or other health care industry analysts), the quality of health care received is higher in all European nations, and Israel, than here in the U.S. anymore. People in Europe, on the whole will never be stressed out by burdensome, life-long debts like we Americans live with. No wonder that, while life expectancy in the U.S. is decreasing, even as it increases in other nations, such as in Europe and Israel. Sigh.

    What can one do to even possibly get over the debt hump the majority of us Americans live (and die) owing??

    Well, in my off again and on again student loan dischargeability research, I’ve uncovered some things that, in my case, may make my private student loans more likely to discharge. But I’m not a lawyer, and haven’t yet had the time or strength to reach out to one with my questions. So here they are, replies welcome.

    As I said, my particular type of private student loans, wherein the loan proceeds are sent directly to the student borrower, totally bypassing ALL possible involvement with the student’s university are not even offered anymore.

    It seems in 2010, the 2005 law making private student loans non-dischargeable in bankruptcy was amended, such that the lender MUST involve the student’s school. No more getting around that.

    The question then, is WHY? The best thing I can figure is that this change to the 2005 law was needed to ensure that ALL private student loans met the requirement for being QUALIFIED educational loans.

    Otherwise, in thinking about the private student loans I got, pre-2010, what about those loans makes them QUALIFIED educational loans? Not a thing, as far as I can discover, other than slapping the word “Student” into the name given the loan.

    I cannot find a thing in the original loan contract that qualifies the loan as being for educational purposes specifically, other than a statement telling the borrower signee, that they agree to use the loaned funds “for educational purposes.” BUT, nowhere in the contract is there any definition of what exactly constitutes a “qualified educational expense.”

    As such, with no definition of what does or doesn’t constitute a “qualified educational expense,” and no oversight by the student’s university as far as how the funds are used, or for what “qualified educational expense,” then “qualified educational expense” is left wide open for individual interpretation, is it not?

    What that means then, in my opinion, is that the alleged “private student loans” I took out prior to the 2010 ruling stating the student’s educational institutions MUST be involved, and MUST provide loan use oversight, makes my so-called “private student loans” nothing more than unsecured “Direct to Consumer” loans, doesn’t it? I mean, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… you know the rest.

    So do I have a case here?

    Further, if I do possibly have a case, how long after a bankruptcy discharge does a person have to file an adversary hearing to amend the bankruptcy to include debts not addressed at the time of the original bankruptcy?

    Anybody??

    Thanks.

  • Mary

    I was diagnosed with multiple schlerosis in 2009 right after finishing up my schooling that I had taken out a student loan for. I am not doing what I went to school for, I am a single mom working in retail barely making it with child support. I am about 70,000 in debt from student loans and medical bills. No credit cards. My check is currently being garnished from two student loans 30% of my check. I feel backed into a corner. I am going to have to quit my job soon and move in with my father out of state because I can’t afford to survive off 70% of my income. I don’t know what to do can anyone help me with advice?

  • R

    Over a year and half, I have had my wages garnished($400 per month), taxes intercepted, scammed by an agency stating they could help with my student loan debt. Needless to say this is a debt i owe but not the amount of the debt I currently showing I owe. In 2014 my balance was $52000, as of Jan 2015 they state my balance is $67704!!! I have paid over 10 grand and the debt continues to multiply! I have sent paperwork twice, they state never receive, I work and have not had a raise in 5 years or more! Please advise on what I can do! I am going to lose my car, my home. I am a single mother of 2 and income under $40k. Thanks for your help!

    • Since your taxes were intercepted these are most likely federal student loans. If so, then you apparently never have heard how easy it is to avoid and stop a student loan wage garnishment and to get out of collections. See https://getoutofdebt.org/63335/easiest-way-stop-student-loan-wage-garnishment-loan-rehabilitation

      If you have not entered one of those programs then your balance will explode because of collection penalties and interest building.

      You can enroll in these programs online, and they say they don’t have your documentation, keep sending it. The advantages of getting enrolled far outweigh the hassle of sending it over and over.

  • Stephen Cave

    So all parties are aware, submitting the form redirects to this website:
    http://damonday.com/student-loan-consultation-payment/

    Which looks to be a pay website for a completely different person? Not sure what is going on here, but it seemed right to advise.

    • Yes, that is true because at this time Damon has agreed to assist consumers to find attorneys in their state who have student loan experience. There is no charge for that service. We receive no compensation.

    • Oh, and all parties should also be aware the same page provides links to a number of free resources consumers can use to address their student loan issue without any need to request outside help.

    • Hello Stephen,
      I appreciate you linking to my site. Yes the service that I offer is a paid service. If someone has already taken the time to research and can’t figure out what their best options are, or they just want to be able to get help from someone that knows about this stuff and doesn’t have anything to try and sell them into, they can call me.

      If you notice this form is specifically for people who have already reviewed the free guides and would like to speak with a knowledgeable professional about their situation.

      Of course, they certainly aren’t under any obligation to schedule an appointment with me if they decide not to.