What Happens If You Cannot Pay Student Loans?

Posted on May 07, 2015 By Carla Handy

Attorney Carla M. HandyI discussed student loan debt in a previous blog.  As many of you are aware, student loan debt in this country has risen to unheard of levels in recent years.  Student loan debt now exceeds 1 trillion dollars and exceeds all other debt categories, including credit card debt, with the exception of mortgage debt.  This much of a debt load leaves people questioning how in the world they will ever be able to pay for these loans and lead a normal life.  Every person carrying any amount of student loan debt should take advantage of all remedies that have been developed to address the repayment and satisfaction of student loan debt.  What are these remedies and how does one get started?  I will address all of these remedies in a student loan blog series over the next few weeks.

The place to begin is simply to identify your student loans.  Maybe you have been lucky and only have one loan but most borrowers of student loan debt have multiple accounts.  Are the different student loan accounts federal loans or private loans?  What is the balance of each of the loans? Who is currently collecting on the loans?

Register with the National Student Loan Data System

The student loan debt mountain is overwhelming and the only way to begin to get a handle on it is to take one step at a time.  The first step is contacting the National Student Loan Data System which is a central database for federally insured student loans maintained by the United States Department of Education.  The information regarding your student loans in this database can be accessed by either visiting the System’s website, https://www.nslds.ed.gov, or calling 1-800-4fed-aid.  You must register with the database and receive a FSA ID that will consist of a user name and password.  Beginning May 10, 2015, the FSA ID is going to replace the pin number that has been used in years past to access the information regarding your loans.  The FSA ID is critical to all efforts going forward.  So if you have not registered with the database system and obtained your FSA ID, do so now.

In the coming weeks, I will be discussing how to explore all the remedies available for repayment and/or forgiveness of your student loans.  Unlike filing for bankruptcy, applying for and receiving a plan for addressing student loan debt can be done without the help of an attorney.  However, the road to achieving this goal is still difficult to travel.  If you would like the assistance of an attorney to help you navigate this terrain, please contact one of our locations nearest you in Alabama, Mississippi or Tennessee for a free, confidential consultation.