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Student loans: If not through bankruptcy, then how?

In the majority of cases, it's impossible to eliminate student loans by entering into bankruptcy. Bankruptcy does not discharge things such as governmental loans, taxes or other court-ordered payments. What it can discharge is unsecured debts like credit debt or personal loans in some cases.

Since bankruptcy is unlikely to help, you'll need to look into other options to eliminate student loan debt. Here are five different possibilities you can look into.

1. Employer assistance

If you currently work and are attending school, one thing to consider is employer assistance. Some employers will provide assistance with student loans or paying for your school in exchange for you staying on contract for a period of time. This is a perk at many places of employment and something to ask about.

2. Public service loan forgiveness

In the case that you work for the government or another qualifying employer, you may be able to seek loan forgiveness after a period of time. The number of payments you have to make and length of time varies but generally is around 10 years.

3. Changing your repayment plan

If you struggle to repay your loans on your current plan, consider a different repayment plan. Repayment plans with lower monthly rates could make it easier to pay down your loans by giving you more money each month to put aside for larger payments in the future. There are a few kinds of repayment plans available from income contingent to Pay As You Earn plans.

4. Deferment

Deferment is a good option for those who cannot pay for a short period of time. Deferments temporarily pause payments and stop interest from accruing. You'll want to contact your lender directly to see if a deferment is a possibility for your loan.

5. Forbearance

Forbearances allow interest to keep accruing despite not requiring you to make payments, which is something to remember. This means that you will end up paying more back in the end, but it's a good option if you have a short-term problem making it hard to pay the bill on time.

These are five options for paying down your student loans. Beyond these, there are multiple options like refinancing and consolidating loans along with other possibilities. The right choice could help you save money and get you into a better financial position, so you don't have to struggle with your student loan debt.

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