There are many worrying and troublesome types of debt in the United States today. Millions of Americans are burdened by credit card or medical debt. They lead to thousands of bankruptcies and countless sleepless nights every year. But one form of debt, student loan debt, maybe the worst of all. This type of debt is often present at high numbers and, most importantly, it has a special status during bankruptcy proceedings.
Student loan debt status in bankruptcy
One of the scariest aspects of student loan debt is the fact that it cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Almost all other forms of debt are subject to default in a bankruptcy proceeding. Bankruptcy is rarely a positive development and can cause many problems for an individual’s life. But the nature of bankruptcy means that most debts a person incurs can disappear if their finances grow too dire.
Bankruptcy is a safety valve that can bring some sort of peace and security as an individual lives their life and sorts out their finances. Student loan debt, on the other hand, will almost always follow an individual around. It can lead to wage garnishment and the loss of tax refunds. This process makes student loan debt different in kind from other forms of debt. It has the possibility to ruin a person’s life for decades with no end in sight.
Another reason why student loan debt is the worst type of debt is that it is often present in high amounts. For many jobs and universities, individuals are required to take out tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Some law schools require a quarter of a million dollars to make it through all three years. Amounts are astronomical and are growing every year. They also leave an individual in an unfortunate situation if they do not end up graduating.
For instance, the average job with an undergraduate degree often pays around $48,000 per year. An individual could pay $1,000 per month towards their student loans with some difficulty. People with $200,000 of student loan debt would, therefore, have to pay that $1,000 per month for over 16 years with no intervening money crises. This calculation does not take into account the fees, interest payments, and potential penalties that come along with every student loan.
How to handle it
Anyone who currently has student loan debt needs to first assess their finances. They need to figure out how much debt they have and how paying off that debt would affect their routine finances. Then, they need to make a plan for paying off that debt and see how long it would take them. If they are unsatisfied by their findings, an individual with student loan debt needs to seek out the services of an advisor such as those at Second City Advisors. These advisors will help individuals set a budget and get counseling help to deal with their debt issues.
People with student loan debt should not panic. They do not need to fret about default or never being able to make a payment. Instead, they need to set a plan and find a partner such as Second City Advisors who will help them reach their goals. A competent partner is the main asset that most people who can shake off student loan debt have at one point or another