Can I lower my monthly payments?

You may be able to lower your federal student loan payments by switching to a different repayment plan. If you’re in a standard plan, you might be able to enroll in an income-based payment plan. If you’re already in an income-based plan, it might make sense to switch to a different one. Or, if your income recently went down, you may need to recertify your new, lower income in order to reduce your payment. Your eligibility for various federal payment plans depends on the types of loans you have. I can review your loans and let you know which payment plan will minimize your monthly payments, and the steps you need to take to enroll.

I’m behind on my student loans (or I will be soon), what can I do?

It depends on what kind of loans you have and how far behind you are. With federal loans, your options are generally forbearance, deferment, consolidation or rehabilitation. For private loans, your options are limited to whatever accommodations your lender is willing to give you. I can counsel you on your options and help you pursue the best path forward.

Can I negotiate a full settlement of my loans for less than the total amount owed?

If you have access to enough cash to pay your loans off in a lump sum, you may be able to negotiate a discount. This is heavily dependent on your particular circumstances. I can advise you on this option and represent you in settlement negotiations.

I applied for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (“PSLF”) but my application was denied. What do I do?

It depends on the basis for the denial. Maybe you just filled out the application incorrectly. Maybe you were in the wrong repayment plan so that your payments didn’t count. Or maybe the Department of Education determined that your employer didn’t qualify. If your PSLF application is denied due to a non-qualifying payment plan, you may be able to get your loans forgiven through Temporary Expanded PSLF. I can assess your situation, counsel you on next steps to get your PSLF discharge and assist you with the process.

My for-profit school lied to me about job placement rates and my degree is worthless. Can I get my loans discharged?

Maybe. If you have federal loans and your school lied to you about something important, you may be eligible for a “borrower defense to repayment” discharge. Or you may be able to sue the school directly. I can advise you on your options and assist you in pursuing them.

My for-profit school closed before I was able to complete my degree. Can I get my loans discharged?

If your school closed while you were attending or within 120 days after you withdrew, you may be eligible for a “closed school discharge” of your federal student loans. I can advise you on your eligibility for a closed school discharge and help you prepare the application.

Can I discharge my student loans in bankruptcy?

Student loans can be discharged in bankruptcy under some circumstances. Many factors are involved, including your loan balance, age, income, employment prospects, and repayment history. Private loans can be easier to discharge than federal loans. I can evaluate your situation and advise you on whether you are a good candidate for a bankruptcy discharge.

I have a bunch of different loans. Should I consolidate them into one loan?

It depends on what kind of loans you have and if you’re pursuing federal loan forgiveness. It’s usually a bad idea to consolidate federal loans into a new private consolidation loan because you lose all of the benefits provided by the federal system. But it can make sense to consolidate all or some of your federal loans into a new federal consolidation loan—or to refinance your private loans into a single new private loan. I can analyze your situation, advise you on whether and how to consolidate, and submit the required paperwork.