President Obama has promised to take action against abusive student loan debt collectors. Through his Student Aid Bill of Rights, his goal is to ensure consumer protections for student loan borrowers. More than 70 percent of college graduates have student loan debt, the second largest source of debt in America.
In the first quarter of 2015 more than twelve percent of student loan debts were in default, according to the National Student Loan Data System. Analysts predict the number of borrowers in default will continue to increase unless something is done.
Below are six steps you can take to help better manage your student loan debt:
1. Contact your lender. Lenders often sell loans, therefore several agencies may be involved in the collection of your debt. The first thing you must do is contact your lender to make sure you have information on any and all balances you have outstanding. You will need to make a list of all of your debts along with the specific lenders and account numbers.
2. Check your credit report. Oftentimes, collection agencies will report student loans multiple times and will report a separate line per semester with different account numbers. Make sure there are no duplicate loans on your credit report.
3. Apply for the rehabilitation program. Contact the collection agency that now has your student loan and explain that you wish to apply for the loan rehabilitation program with more affordable payments. The benefits of rehabilitation include: bringing your loan out of default, repairing the damage on your credit report, and after five months in the program, you can stop any garnishments being taken out of your paycheck or tax refund.
4. Make your payments on time. If you successfully make nine payments on time, your loan will be taken out of collections. In addition, the default status will be removed.
5. Ask the collection agency for a letter to confirm that your loan has been removed from the default status. You will need to request letters from every collection agency that you have been paying.
6. Contact the three major credit bureaus. Once you receive the confirmation letters, contact all three credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax and forward a copy to each of them.
Click here to read more on the 6 steps to defeat student loan debt collectors.
For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at http://www.miamibankruptcy.com.