Student Loan Debt Elimination

By: Max Bellamy

A crucial point to be borne in mind by students is this: student loans cannot be eliminated under any circumstances. Student loans are not grants; they are just financial assistances to cover education costs and they have to be repaid under any circumstances once the education is over. Even filing for bankruptcy does not work in this case. It is just too long a process to be worth the effort.

After graduation, students have about a six-month grace period before they start repaying their loans. This is the period to think about how to repay the loans and which debt management program to implement. Students must ideally take up a job immediately after their educations so that they have a proper headway when the grace period comes to an end and the loan repayment begins.

The most that a student can do towards debt elimination is to enroll in some voluntary work, such as those at AmeriCorps or PeaceCorps. They may also enroll in the armed forces or serve as assistant doctors (if they are students of medicine) or teachers or some other socially relevant job. However, a true economist would not call this as complete loan elimination as the student has to put in some years of work. These years, if worked elsewhere, could have been more monetarily productive. Hence, these loan forgiveness methods cannot be branded as loan elimination.

Wise management of loans is also a method to ease the burden of loans. Students can consolidate all the loans taken during their education into a single bulk and start repaying them at a single interest rate. This process also locks the interest at the current rate. Yet, the student still has to make repayment. The benefit is of having to deal with a single creditor rather than several.

Filing for bankruptcy is a very tedious process. Students are given bankruptcy status only if it is well proven that the student will not have even a decent standard of living were the loan repayment to continue. Students who meet with accidents and become physically redundant in some or the other way can be given bankruptcy status and their loans may be eliminated. However, for a regular student to shirk repaying loans by filing for bankruptcy is just wishful thinking.

There are several sites online that claim they can eliminate student loans. But students must be intelligent enough to read the fine print. Within those lines it is explained, though not clearly, that loans cannot be eliminated. There are, of course, negotiations that an agency can hold with the creditors on behalf of the students to get the interest rates reduced. But this is actually a worthless exercise as the student has to build up an escrow account even before the negotiations may begin. Also, there are the payments to the intermediary agency that have to be done by the student. Thus, a student must abandon hopes of getting loans totally eliminated out of the blue and begin preparing strategies to repay them as soon as possible.

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