5 Ways To Tackle Student Loan Debt

tackle student loan debt
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
A lot of people when looking back at what they would have done differently after graduating college, they mention tackling their student loan debt earlier, as one of the top answers.“Looking back, I could have done a lot of things different,” says Dominguez, 33, who lives in Austin, Texas, and recently started a business with his father, selling goods and professional services to government entities. Dominguez has an outstanding balance of $71,000 in student loan debt from his undergraduate degree he got in the University of Texas. He has not started paying it off yet, and he cites “living too extravagantly in his 20’s, and starting at really low-paying jobs and unpaid internships” as big obstacles. His credit score is still healthy, and he is in good standing with his loan lenders, who assisted him refinance and get direct loan consolidation and also to defer the loans.But carrying around such high student loan debt has been extremely stressful, Dominguez said, while adding that it has also hurt his love life. “Nobody wants to be saddled with that type of debt, much less marry someone with that amount of debt,” he says.

Dominguez’ story is unfortunately way too common in the United States. Currently, student loan debt exceeds the $1.2 trillion, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And last month, a report from the Government Accountability Office got a lot of attention when it pointed out that between 2005 and 2013, student loan debt among seniors 65 and older climbed more than 600 percent from $2.8 billion to $18 billion.

Student loans are tricky to get rid of, yet not impossible to tackle in a smart way. So if you’re struggling to pay off or manage your mountain of student loan debt, and want to avoid default, here are some tips you could use, along with the pros and cons of each. Here are the 5 Ways To Tackle Student Loan Debt.


With this option, you defer paying your loans for a few months or possibly years. You may already be doing that if you’re missing payment dates, but now you’ll have permission from your lender.

Pros. You get a break from paying your loans with no hit to your credit score. You can use the extra money to pay off other debts, so you’ll be in better shape when you start paying off the student loans. Even better, the government may (emphasis on “may”) pay the interest on some of these loans. Specifically, it may pay the interest during this time on the Federal Perkins Loan, a Direct Subsidized Loan and/or the Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan.

Cons. If the government doesn’t pay the interest, you will. In that case, Chuck Mattiucci, a financial advisor at Fragasso Financial Advisors in Pittsburgh, has a plan. “Most banks and lending institutions will allow interest-only payments while loan principal payments are in deferral,” he says. “This would be the best option for most because the interest payments are a fraction of what the monthly principal and interest payments would be.”


It’s essentially the same as deferment, with one difference: If you are rejected for deferment but are given forbearance, you will definitely be paying the interest that accrues during your break in making payments.

Pros. As with the deferment, you get a break from paying your loans.

Cons. As noted, the infernal interest. Usually, the interest you’ve accrued will be added to the principal balance, so you’ve just stretched the length of your loan, and you’ll pay more in the long run.


Consolidation turns multiple loans into one loan, meaning one payment. If you have federal loans, you can apply to consolidate them with us here at USSLC! Contact us at 877.433.7501 or check your eligibility online right here.

Pros. Instead of having two or three or eight student loans to pay off, you’ll just have one, often with a lower monthly payment. That’s the main draw for a lot of consumers. Also, only having to make one monthly payment could help your cash flow.

Cons. The interest will be whatever the average is of your loans, and it’s possible that by consolidating your loans, you may pay more in interest in the long run.

Federal student loan forgiveness

In this case, the federal government will “forgive” / cancel part or all of your federal student loans. You have to apply for it and it can be a confusing process. Here at USSLC we assist student loan borrowers with the filing and application process for loan forgiveness programs. Call a student loan specialist today at 877.433.7501 to discuss your case and see if you qualify for loan forgiveness.

 Pros. Pretty obvious: You’ll have no or less debt. New regulations expand the forgiveness programs to adjunct professors and more non-for profit organizations.

Cons. You’ll only be able to qualify in certain circumstances, such as working in the military, healthcare field, for certain non-profit organizations or teaching in specific schools.

So if you’re doing something noble with your career and you’re not likely to earn a lot of money, you may be able to get out of paying your student loans.

Student loan bankruptcy

This isn’t much of a good way to tackle your debt, and it’s generally something that people who feel buried under student loans wish could happen. You may end up going through bankruptcy, but odds are, you’ll emerge with your student loans still needed to be paid.

Pros. Who wouldn’t want to get rid of their student loans?

Cons. This is almost an impossible thing to accomplish, and if you go into bankruptcy and try to unload your loans, the student loan company will likely fight this, and the result will likely be a full-blown trial. And, of course, a trial is likely unrealistic. If you can’t afford to pay off your student loans, you probably can’t afford a trial.