Expensive Education: How Does Bankruptcy Impact Your Student Loans? Reply

Many people with high levels of student debt consider filing for bankruptcy, only to be told that student loans are nondischargeable. While it is true that discharging student loan balances and bankruptcy can be difficult, it is not impossible, in the bankruptcy process may still offer some benefits to the borrower.

Getting Student Loan Debt Discharged

Most types of debt can be discharged in consumer bankruptcy. There are, however, some exceptions, including child support and court judgments resulting from an accident caused by drunk driving. There are also types of debts that are harder to discharge: There are special rules about discharging tax debt, and the same is also true for student loans.

Convincing a court to discharge her student loan debt requires proving that paying this debt would result in “undue hardship.” This means that you’ll have to show that paying your student loans will make it impossible for you to afford basic living expenses. In addition, you also have to show that it is unlikely that your financial situation is going to change and that you have already made a good-faith effort at loan repayment.

While most people cannot meet these qualifications, the courts have demonstrated a willingness to consider a range of circumstances when determining whether student debt is an undue burden. A bankruptcy attorney can assist you in determining whether your circumstances meet the criteria required for discharge.

Bankruptcy Benefits Without a Discharge

If you are unable to prove undue hardship, you may still be able to benefit from bankruptcy. The automatic stay on collection activity will be in effect for the duration of your bankruptcy proceedings, giving you a breather from collection calls, bank levies, and payroll garnishment. The other benefits depend on the type of bankruptcy you file for.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your other debts are discharged. Since you won’t be making payments on them anymore, you’ll have more cash available to apply toward your student loan balances. If you’ve filed for Chapter 13, your loans will become a part of your debt plan, which may mean that you’ll pay less on them during the repayment process.

Final Word

Student loan debt may be discouraging, but there are often options, including bankruptcy, which can make repayment more manageable. Student loan lenders and servicers are often willing to work with you to come up with a repayment plan that you can afford. In addition, bankruptcy remains an option even if your circumstances.


Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Connect with her on Google+and (@LizzieWeakley).


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Your “After College” Survival Guide: How to Survive as a Fresh College Graduate Reply

Saving for educationBeth Bowman graduated college bubbling with excitement. She had accrued over $25,000 in student debts, but it didn’t matter because she felt she was pursuing a degree that will help her land her dream job of being a cultural consultant for a non-governmental organization. Now out of college, she was excited about her prospects.

However, Bowman soon realized the hard way that we don’t live in a perfect world. After sending about 500 job applications — to which she got no response — she now manages at a job as a policy administration specialist, a job that does not require a college degree.

Bowman’s story isn’t an isolated example.

Statistics from Pew Research Center show that it is becoming increasingly harder for college graduates to find good jobs: a whopping 44 percent of college graduates work at jobs that don’t require a college degree, and 20 percent of college graduates work in low-wage jobs that pay below $25,000. That obviously doesn’t justify today’s average student debt of $37,172.

Here are some survival tips to help you cope as a fresh college graduate:

  1. Make Preparations before Graduating College: Considering the difficulties in getting quality jobs faced by college graduates today, it is best to start making preparations before graduating college. Research shows that employers still value job experience — and having experience as a paid intern makes things even better.

The good news is that you don’t have to be out of college to get relevant job experience. You can still intern while in college; look for relevant organizations that have internship organizations for you while you’re still in college, and slowly build up your work experience. By the time you graduate, you don’t have to be disadvantaged due to lack of work experience.

  1. Get Creative About Job Applications: As a fresh graduate, don’t assume that you can get hired by applying to advertised jobs. Some sources show that up to 80 percent of jobs are unadvertised.

Instead:

  • Regularly reach out to family and friends to inquire about unadvertised job openings they know of.
  • Avoid having your life story on your cover letter. Research shows that recruiters spend less than 10 seconds going through it. Keep your cover letter short and simple.
  • Don’t ignore the internet in your job search. Apparently, 80 percent of recruiters have hired people through LinkedIn. Create and polish your LinkedIn profile.
  • Don’t just wait while you try to get hired. Take advantage of technology to accelerate your prospect of getting hired: you can start a blog or create a simple website. Case studies abound of people who got hired through their blog/website, and many said employers were wowed more by their blogs than by their degree.
  1. Pursue Side Jobs and Alternate Career Options: Many college graduates wait for years, sending hundreds of job applications, without getting their dream job and spending all that time doing nothing. This eventually leads to depression.

Get creative about other ways to earn while looking for your dream job. You can easily find side jobs that will help you sustain yourself while pursuing desirable job opportunities; income from these side jobs reduce pressure on you and help cater to some of your day to day responsibilities.


About John Stevens

John Stevens is an entrepreneur and founder of HostingFacts.com, an online portal that reviews web hosts. He is a regular contributor to Standford’s blog, Business Insider, Entrepreneur.com and other major publications. Follow him on Twitter @hostingfactsj.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Debt Versus Education: What You Need To Consider Reply

Education savingsGail Marksjarvis of the Chicago Tribune wrote this article (which is now unfortunately closed off to most viewers on the Chicago Tribune website), stating that students should consider debt when they decide what college to attend. In the past, we’ve argued that college shouldn’t be all about the bottom line, how much money you can make versus how much money you spend. That said, though? Gail Marksjarvis is right — you should consider debt when you decide what school to go to.

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