For millions of people around the country, obtaining a college degree is only possible through the use of student loans. Though people begin college with high hopes of obtaining regular and well-paying employment, the burden of the student loans they acquire can often be overwhelming. In many situations, people in Maryland to have student loans often want to know what their options are if they are struggling to make their payments.
The common wisdom surrounding student loans is that you cannot get rid of them even if you file for personal bankruptcy. While it can be difficult to discharge your student loans through bankruptcy, it can be done if you can show the bankruptcy court that repaying the loans creates an “undue hardship” for you and your family.
The undue hardship standard is difficult, but not impossible, to meet. There are several factors involved when a court determines if this standard has been met. These essentially require you to prove that your student loan payments do not allow you and your family to maintain a minimal living standard. You will also have to prove that the current financial hardships you are experiencing are unlikely to change over the course of the loan repayment period, and that you have made a good-faith effort to try to pay back the loans to the best of your ability.
Of course, like any legal issue, meeting be undue hardship standard is not a simple calculation. Bankruptcy court judges have flexibility when weighing the undue hardship factors, and only an experienced attorney can tell you what the judge is likely, or unlikely, to do in any particular situation.
If discharging your student loans is not possible, or likely to succeed, you still have other options available to you. For example, some people can apply for an economic hardship deferment, which effectively postpones the repayment of your loan. You might also be able to apply for help under the Student Loan Forgiveness Act, or enter into an extended payment plan to lessen the amount you have to pay each month. Of course, determining which of these options is available to you is something that requires careful consideration.
If you are worried about not being able to repay your student loans, you need to talk to us as soon as possible. Making any decision about your student loan agreement is a serious issue, and not one you should make without first receiving qualified legal advice about potential repercussions involved.
Further, if your loans have become so burdensome that they are negatively impacting your life, you need to understand what your legal options are and what chances you have of discharging loans if you choose to file for bankruptcy.
So, if you haven’t already talked to a lawyer about your student loans, contact us as soon as possible.