Are some of your clients drowning under their own or their children’s student loan debt? Ways exist to get out from under without too much damage to their credit scores, according to NextAdvisor, a research organization in Burlingame, Calif.
Student loan debts can stifle earning and saving power for years after graduation, but some options are available to lower the debt, especially if it is issued by the government. Some of the same options may be obtainable from private lenders as well, says NextAdvisor.
If a loan holder is struggling to make payments, lenders sometimes will recalculate payments based on the lendee’s income, which can improve a credit score if all new payments are made on time.
It also is possible to receive a deferment or forbearance, NextAdvisor says. Deferment is a period of time where a person is not obligated to pay back the loan. It is automatic while the student is in school or during the first six months after graduation. A reprieve under special circumstances, such as illness, can sometimes be obtained through what is called a forbearance, which reduces or postpones monthly payments. However, interest rates may continue to be added on during this period, NextAdvisor warns.
If the client has already defaulted on the loan, he or she can start paying again and after nine timely payments the default will be removed from the credit score. Relief also can be obtained through a consolidation, which adjusts the interest rate of the debt, but the default is not removed from the credit report. Either of these processes can only be done once.
A loan can be canceled if the person becomes disabled and cannot work. Under some circumstances, it also can be forgiven, which is legally different, if the lendee agrees to certain terms, such working in a government or nonprofit sector job if payments have been made for at least 10 years before that. The entire report is available here.