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Regain Control of Your Student Loans Talk to Our Student Loan Bankruptcy Attorneys About Your Options

Attorney for Student Loans in Chicago

Take Control With the Help of a Student Loan Bankruptcy Lawyer

College tuitions just keep getting higher, and students incur incredible amounts of debt in trying to further their education and get a degree. On top of that, there is no guarantee that a student will be able to find a well-paying job upon graduation, adding to the stress of paying off the loan. Failure to successfully handle your debt could result in wage garnishments, a lien on your tax refunds, and other repercussions you can't afford.

If you find yourself in this situation, you would benefit by contacting a Chicago student loan bankruptcy lawyer to find out how you can regain control. The legal team at Smith Ortiz, P.C. has the knowledge and skills to guide you through the best solutions for your specific financial situation.

Need help? Contact us online or call (312) 945-7451 for a consultation with a student loan debt attorney in Chicago. We have years of experience and we are ready to assist you!

How to Reduce Student Loan Debt

There are many ways to reduce student loan debt depending on your situation. Below are three common options for reducing student loan debt:

  • Student loan forgiveness programs
  • Student loan discharge programs
  • Student loan refinance programs

Many types of student loan forgiveness programs are available to those who qualify. There are profession-specific programs (education, health care, legal, etc.), military programs (active duty, Navy, National Guard, etc.), community service programs, and state programs available.

Student loan discharge programs available to those who are in certain situations -- for example, if your school is closing or there was an issue with fraud, you may be able to get your loans wiped away without negative consequences. If the loans are causing you undue hardship, you may also file for bankruptcy.

Student loan refinance programs are available for those who do not qualify for forgiveness or discharge. This option means that you will apply for a new loan that pays of your existing student loans. You will only need to keep track of one monthly payment and one interest rate. However, keep in mind that applying for this is the same as applying for any other loan. You must prove that you have enough income to afford to repay it and you must have good credit or a cosigner to qualify.

Proving Undue Hardship for Student Loan Debt Discharge

Chapter 7 bankruptcy essentially wipes out almost all unsecured debt, such as medical bills and credit card debt. It does not, however, easily get rid of student loan debt. The exception is when you are able to prove "undue hardship" imposed due to your loan debt. This is very difficult to prove in most cases; even if you live below the poverty line, the court is not easily swayed to allow bankruptcy to discharge student loan debt. You will have to undergo the Brunner Test through the court, which will determine if you qualify for undue hardship.

The three main factors in this test that would cause the court to approve the discharge of your student loan debt are:

  1. You can prove you are living at or below the poverty level, and because you have to make student loan payments, your income is not enough to live on.
  2. You can show that a current life circumstance, such as bad health, is causing severe financial hardship and that the condition is not likely to end soon.
  3. You have a track record showing that you have been working diligently to pay off your loans for a long period of time, indicating you have been acting in good faith.

Talk to Smith Ortiz, P.C. About Your Options

Even if the court does not approve your petition for undue hardship, it's possible that the discharging of other debt through bankruptcy now allows you to have enough money left to manage your student loan payments easily. There is also the possibility of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which reorganizes your finances so that you are able to make payments to creditors. There can be additional solutions to student loan debt as well. Our firm, with over 26 years of combined experience, is very familiar with all the possible options to resolve the problem of student loan debts.

Contact our student loan bankruptcy attorney to discuss your situation and what to do about student loans in a free initial consultation.

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