Miami Student Debt Attorney
With rising tuition costs, few students reach graduation without student loans. But many find themselves unable to keep up with payments, especially with the economic recession of the past few years. Defaulting on student loans can have serious consequences, but our Miami student loan debt attorney is experienced in handling student loan debt and can help you work toward a solution.
Consequences of Default
The effects of a student loan debt default can be devastating. The consequences include:
- The default showing up on credit reports and damaging your credit rating, making it harder to get a mortgage or car loan;
- Garnishing wages;
- The loss of eligibility for future student loans; and
- The loss of state and federal tax refunds.
If you meet certain criteria, you may be able to get your loan deferred, or postponed. Eligibility criteria include economic hardship, unemployment, disability, military service, and other circumstances.
Discharging student loans in bankruptcy is very difficult. The debtor must show that repayment would create an undue hardship on the debtor or on his or her dependents. This generally means that you are not be able to maintain minimal standards of living, and this is unlikely to change during the repayment period. But you may be able to get loans discharged out of the bankruptcy context.
If you have federal student loans, you may be eligible to get them discharged under certain circumstances. For example, if you work for ten years in government, public health, public education, or law enforcement, you may be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Full and permanent disability can also mean that a person is eligible for discharge.
Even if you are not eligible for discharge, if you are in danger of defaulting on your loans, you may qualify for a repayment plan based on your income, number of dependents, and state of residence. If you qualify for a repayment plan, your monthly payments will be lowered, and often will be capped at ten or 15 percent of your discretionary income. Eventually, if you comply with the plan and meet certain requirements, any unpaid balance of the loan may be forgiven.
Private student loans are not eligible for the government programs that deal with federal loans. But an attorney may be able to help you negotiate with your lending institution to make your payments affordable. Banks and other student loan lenders have an interest in receiving your loan payments, so they may be willing to negotiate to ensure that you are financially able to pay.
Sometimes, federal and private loans may be consolidated to lower monthly payments. Loan consolidation means combining loans into a single loan and refinancing. Consolidation for private loans is only available from a few private lending institutions. Consolidation of federal loans may also make them eligible for certain repayment plans.
There are many options for dealing with your student loan debt, so it is important to contact an attorney, whether you have fallen behind in your payments or fear that you will soon do so. Please contact Miami student loan attorney Julia Kefalinos at (305) 856-2713 for an initial consultation.