A number of people who contact us are having trouble paying their student loans. And no wonder!
I once was shocked at the amount of money people borrow for their education but, after my two kids attended college and one has gone on to graduate school, I am beyond shock. But my kids are lucky. My wife and I can share some of the expense of student loans, and they will get through this okay. But many of those who email or call us are not so lucky.
I have had those who owe $100,000, $200,000, or more in student loans and who did not go to school to become doctors or lawyers. Many of them are earning much less than $50,000 per year and they are struggling just to take care of their families. Paying $500.00 or $600.00 and month, or more on their student loans is not something easily done.
The Law Offices of Steidl and Steinberg have some possible ways to make this less painful. But before we discuss these things, and if your wages, bank accounts, or tax refunds are not being garnished, you can take some steps to help you. And if it is late in the ballgame, these steps can help us as your attorneys.
First, you want to find out just what type of student loan you have: is it a Federal Loan, or a private or State loan? Here are some ways to find out.
1. Ask. Really. Ask your student loan company which type of loan you have.
2. Check www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/. If your loan is listed here, it is a Federal loan.
3. Look at your credit report if it is not listed above. Second, you want to try to get help before you default on the student loan payments, or, if the default has already occurred, try these also because if you default, you may be subject to garnishments of your wages or tax refunds, and other possible punishments:
2. Income Contingent Payment Plan.(Federal loans including most Parent Plus Loans)
3. Income Based Payment Plan (Federal Loans only and not including Parent Plus Loans)
4. For private loans, working directly with the lender.
These are very general guidelines for a very complex topic. Let me list for you some resources that might be of assistance.
These were provided for me at a recent seminar:
a. For income based repayment, www.IBRinfo.org.
b. National Consumer Law Center: www.studentloanborrowerassistance.org/
c. Loan Consolidation: www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov/
d. Consumer Finance Protection Board: www.consumerfinance.gov/students/
This is just a start, but please start! And if things have gotten out of hand, such as the student loan payments being too high, or a garnishment of your wages or bank account or income tax refund, or a lawsuit, give Steidl and Steinberg a call. You might be surprised at how quickly we can bring you relief.