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What can you do if you're unable to pay back student loans?

Let's say that you are a recent college graduate, and after a couple of months of searching, you find the perfect entry level job. You work for your new company for six months or so, and things are looking up. You'll finally be able to deal with the student debt you amassed while you were going to school to learn about the very job you have now.

But all of a sudden, a downturn in the economy or some bad investments on the part of your employer turns your world -- and the company's -- upside down. You're laid off as a result, and now you're struggling to deal with your student debt. What are you supposed to do? What options do you have?

There are a few things that you could do, and bankruptcy could even be of great help to you. However, it is important to realize that under current rules, it is nearly impossible for someone to discharge their student debt through the bankruptcy process. It could happen, but only under the most extreme situations. Alternatively, a bankruptcy filing could be used to clear out other debts to make it easier to deal with your student debt, but we realize there are other options out there than bankruptcy.

So, if you are in debt as a result of student debt, you could pursue these options:

  • Loan repayment plan. You could restructure or reorganize your loan repayment plan to make it easier for you to deal with the payments.
  • Loan deferment or forbearance. What these allow you to do is stop making payments on your debt for a certain amount of time. Basically, it freezes your repayment plan, with your creditor's approval. Be careful though, as interest will likely accrue during the time it is frozen.
  • Bankruptcy or debt cancellation. Again, these are very hard to achieve in relation to discharging student debt -- but if you qualify, these could be very helpful options.

Source: FindLaw, "Your Options When You Can't Repay Student Loans," Accessed July 23, 2015

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