Q: I, like many college students, have a lot of private student loan debt. We all read and hear about student loan debt relief programs, but in actuality these programs only exist for federal student loans, who pays their full college tuition with only federal student loans? Where are programs that help out the majority of us with private student loan debt?
A: Unfortunately, private student loan debt is some of the most difficult kind of debt to get relief for, since private student loan terms vary from one lender to the next, and since private student loan debt can not typically even be discharged with bankruptcy.
Your best options for dealing with private student loan debt are going to come in the form of forbearance or deferment for temporary debt relief (if your private student loan offers these options), and/or private student loan consolidation for a more long-term solution. The best actions to take when it comes to private student loan debt are preventive actions (not much help if you’ve already accumulated private student loan debt). Students need to file a FAFSA and exhaust ALL other college financial aid options before turning to private student loans. Do the math before you take out a private student loan, and come to a realistic conclusion as to if or if not the student loan repayments are going to be affordable (based on a VERY realist expected income for your career field).
If you are interested in temporary postponement of your private student loan payments you need to contact your lender to see if this option is available for you. You should also be aware that while your private student loans are in forbearance, the interest will most likely capitalize and that amount will be added to the principal balance of the loan. If you are interested in student loan consolidation for your private student loans you can read more by visiting our Student Loan Consolidation section.