Do I really need to hire a student loan lawyer?

Do I Really Need to Hire a Student Loan Lawyer?

September 5, 2019

When you enter a contract, especially one like a student loan which affects your income and potentially your lifestyle, it’s natural to ask – do I need to hire a student loan lawyer?

It depends! There are things that don’t require any lawyer like measures you can take to tackle your student loan repayment. Sometimes though, a student loan attorney is absolutely critical for things like defaults, being sued, or declaring bankruptcy.

To clear things up, here is a list of the times where you don’t need a student loan lawyer, and a list of the times where some legal advice on student loans is important.

Things You Don’t Need a Lawyer For

Starting Payment Plan and Applying for Loan Forgiveness Programs

Every loan has a few options and payment plans that allow you to pay things off. On your own, you can start by finding the right plan.

The same goes for applying to loan forgiveness programs like the PSLF. Federal student loan providers list information about qualifications and plans on their sites. A phone call to your loan provider can kick things off as well.

Income-Driven Repayment Plans and Auto-Pay

An income-driven repayment plan sets the monthly payment at a reasonable rate for your income. This can help make paying off your loan a lot more manageable.

Loans are a lot easier to pay off when you don’t even have the option of spending that money. Sign up for auto-pay on your own with your loan provider to have payments come directly out of your paycheck.

Working Out Delinquencies

Do you know you’ve missed some payments? If you act fast, it’s usually possible to work out a repayment plan with your loan provider.

Federal student loans offer deferment and forbearance. Both help you catch up on late payments. You want to catch up as quick as you can to avoid adding to the principal balance of your loan.

When You Should Consider a Lawyer

If You’re in Default

Default is a legal term essentially referring to missed payments. This represents a step beyond delinquency.

With private student loans, a default can mean missing just one payment. But with federal student loans, a default means you’ve missed 9 months of payments (270 days to be exact).

The punishment for default is different depending on whether your loan is private or federal.

Related: How to Get Student Loan Default Help [2 Easy Ways]

To be brief, if you’ve defaulted on a federal student loan, you can either rehabilitate or consolidate your student loan. Consolidation is typically better for those aiming to qualify for the PSLF because it gets you out of default faster than rehabilitation.

If you’re not sure which path to take, as a student loan lawyer, I can help.

That’s what I did for Daniel.

He discovered he was in default, and I worked with him to get out of default by helping him choose the path that would get him out of default the quickest and into a monthly payment he can afford all while ensuring his loans would qualify for forgiveness under the PSLF program: consolidation.

If You’re Being Sued

The next step beyond default, especially for a private student loan, is being sued.

Let’s say you don’t make a payment for around 120 days. The loan provider will assume you don’t intend to pay your loan and send your file to a collection agency.

At that point, the collection agency will hound you for payment, and most likely sue you to take the money.

Sidenote

The federal government typically doesn’t sue borrowers. They don’t have to sue to collect from you. They already have the power to withhold money from your paychecks if you default on your loan.

Being sued is definitely cause to hire a lawyer specializing in student loans — not just a bankruptcy attorney that doesn’t really know how student loans work.

Speaking of bankruptcy…

If You’re Wanting to Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy

Sometimes bankruptcy is the only option for settling a student loan. Before you make this decision, talk with a student loan lawyer to make sure its the best avenue.

If you decide to proceed, I can help you work through the paperwork and represent you in court.

No one expects you to be an expert in student loan repayments. I’ve even helped lawyers make sense of their loans and get out of default. Here are some testimonials to show you how firsthand what I do.

Hire a Student Loan Lawyer

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