Department of Education can wipe your student loan balance

The sad truth is that for many of us who have struggled or who are struggling students, loans are a nightmare that will follow us for the rest of our lives. According to a report released December 2013 by the Institute for College Access & Success’ Project on Student Debt, 7 in 10 students graduated with student debt and the average debt load for the graduating Class of 2012 reached almost $30,000.

Apparently, the cost of attending college is 60 percent higher than it was a decade ago. Oh, and only half of recent college grads are landing full-time jobs after graduation to pay off that debt.

It’s a sad reality that the rising amount of student debt is making many people debate the value of a college degree compared to the risk of debt.

The good news is that Forbes has some hacks that can help you reduce your loan payment. 

First, consider a career in a non-profit organization, because there’s a loan forgiveness program and if you meet certain requirements, the Department of Education (DE), can eliminate your loan balance. Forbes warns, however, that loan forgiveness only applies to about 4 million borrowers who qualify and those who have been making punctual payments.

For those of you who aren’t destined to be teachers or first responders, don’t worry. There’s still hope for you to lessen the burden of student debt.

The second option is that you can gauge your repayments based on income. In other words, if your income is too low to cover your payments, you may be able to catch a break. There are several forms of income-based repayments that you can explore and don’t be afraid to ask the DE about your options. It’s worth finding out the answers.

Finally, Forbes suggests forbearance or deferment of your loans, which doesn’t exactly eliminate them, but it does help you push back their due date.

Contact your loan provider, and ask them to direct you to a repayment plan that is fairly flexible.

There’s no harm in asking questions!

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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