Student loans have been in the news a lot lately. Especially as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage, many people who are saddled with student loan debt and enjoying time away from having payments to make on these loans are hoping that perhaps student loan forgiveness may be more likely to pass now than at any other time in history. As a legislature, however, student debt forgiveness is certainly divisive, even though many economists agree that it will significantly help the lower and middle-class.
So, while Congress continues to duke it out and debate the merits of student loan forgiveness, what should you go about doing? For starters, it’s a good idea to get proactive about your student loans instead of just praying that someone else will solve the problem for you. If you’ve already paid down other consumer debts like your credit card debt or auto loan, it may make sense to take matters into your own hands. Here are a few things to know about managing your student loans.
Make some savings goals and track them.
Getting on a written budget can really help you tackle any debt. For example, tracking your spending, you may realize that you’ve been eating out much more than you think you have; wasting money on overpriced dinner options when cooking at home could help you pay off your student loans more quickly. Using a savings goal calculator, you can set savings goals related to future purchases and avoid incurring additional debt by paying for vacations in cash instead of charging them to your credit card, which can also help your financial situation. Becoming conscious about your personal finances isn’t easy; however, by spending some time with a written budget and thinking about your money goals, you’ll be able to tackle most financial challenges.
Understand your existing forgiveness options.
While much of the rhetoric as of late has been focused on broad forms of student loan forgiveness, in actuality, the government already offers some kinds of forgiveness programs that you may already qualify for. Each of these forms of student debt forgiveness functions a bit differently, so it’s important to read up on each program before you enroll in it; however, they generally require you to make certain career choices for a certain amount of time to qualify.
Teachers and those working in public service, for example, qualify for student loan forgiveness programs, as do those who qualify for permanent or total disability. Investigating these programs and signing up for them as soon as you land a job that meets their requirements can be a great path towards becoming debt-free.
Know when to ask for help—and who to call.
In some situations, you may find that you’ve taken on too much student loan debt. In these sorts of cases, it may be worth considering bankruptcy and other options to wipe out these costs and start fresh completely. For example, you may want to connect with a student loan defense lawyer who can offer you some legal advice and potentially represent you should you need to file a lawsuit or head to court.
Most lawyers and attorneys will offer free consultations to potential clients allowing you to determine whether or not a specific law firm is a good fit for you or not. If you’ve found that your savings plan isn’t helping you deal with private loans or federal loan payments, talking to a student loan attorney could give you the valuable insight you need as you weigh your options surrounding student loan relief.