Looking for a student loan lawyer? I imagine it’s because your loan’s in default or you had a tax refund offset or wage garnishment. Or maybe you need to get into a better repayment plan or negotiate a settlement.
Whatever the issue is, you’ve already tried handling it yourself.
But each student loan servicer rep you talk to gives you a different answer about how much student loan debt you have, what your options are for lowering your payment, or how you can get a cosigner removed from your private student loan. And the advertisements you hear on the radio promising forgiveness? You’re worried they’re student loan scams.
Getting help for your student loan problems shouldn’t be this hard.
You’re right. It shouldn’t. But it is.
And that’s why it makes complete sense to hire a student loan lawyer.
In this post, we’ll go over:
- What is a student loan lawyer
- How to choose the right one
- Where to find an attorney specializing in student loans and
- When you should consider hiring a lawyer for your private loans.
Let’s get to it.
1. What is a Student Loan Lawyer
Here’s the deal:
A student loan lawyer is simply a lawyer with special knowledge of federal loans and private loans.
When you hire this type of lawyer, you create an attorney-client relationship where you can get legal advice for:
- lowering student loan payments;
- reducing your interest rate;
- assessing the impact of loan consolidation;
- resolving issues with your loan servicer;
- getting your loan back in good standing following delinquency or default;
- responding to legal action against you for a student loan lawsuit; and
- evaluating ways to reduce or eliminate your student loan balance.
You may think any lawyer could help you with you do any of those things.
But that’s not necessarily true.
Student loans are so complicated that a regular lawyer has little chance of helping you solve your issue.
Just so you don’t think I’m making solving your student loan issues seem unnecessarily complex, let me let you in on a secret:
Many of my clients are attorneys.
These attorneys hire me because they have student loan debt and they don’t know where to begin.
Others hire me because they work full-time for the government and want to make sure they’re making qualifying payments to get their loans forgiven under the PSLF program.
And still, others hire me to get them out of default so they can start improving their credit score.
For them, getting help from a student loan lawyer makes sense.
Just because they’re a lawyer doesn’t mean they understand how federal student loans work, the options available for settling private student loans, or even if student loans can be discharged in bankruptcy.
I know what you’re thinking: Wait, can private student loans be discharged in bankruptcy? Yep. The same is true of federal student loans. Use this Powerful Guide to discharge student loans in bankruptcy to help get started.
Now that you know what a student loan lawyer is, let’s move on to:
2. How to Choose a Student Loan Lawyer
Choosing a student loan attorney can be hard.
First, you have to find one.
Next, you have to make sure they’re actually a student loan lawyer and not just a bankruptcy attorney or a debt settlement lawyer.
Just because someone says they’re a student loan lawyer doesn’t mean they have the specialized knowledge to give you all the help you may need.
You want to make sure that so-called “student loan debt lawyer” has experience:
- Lowering monthly payments by choosing the right income-driven repayment plan
- Stopping student loan wage garnishments
- Protecting tax refunds from being taken for student loans
- Getting federal student loans out of default
- Settling federal and private student loans
- Defending lawsuits against National Collegiate Student Loan Trust and other private student loan companies
- Removing negative entries on your credit report for student loans
- Discharging student loans in bankruptcy
If they haven’t done most if not all of these things, consider finding someone else who calls themselves a student loan lawyer.
3. Where to Find an Attorney Specializing in Student Loans
Let me save you some trouble.
Sure, you could Google “student loan attorney”
But do you really have time to sort through 17 million results?
To save you some time, here are a few attorneys specializing in student loans that I believe know what they’re doing (listed in alphabetical order):
- Christie Arkovich | christiearkovich.com | Florida | 813-258-2808
- Joshua Cohen | thestudentloanlawyer.com | Connecticut & Vermont | 802-380-8887
- Adam Minsky | bostonstudentloanlawyer.com | Massachusetts | 855-210-0616
- Latife Neu | neulegal.com | Washington | 206-297-6349
You can also check with the National Association of Consumer Advocates. They keep a list of student loan lawyers.
Of course, you can also speak to me.
I’m a student loan lawyer in Missouri.
So you know, although my law firm is based out of St Louis, I help student loan borrowers all over the United States in dealing with their student loan lenders, evaluating their eligibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, modifying their student loan repayment terms, etc.
If you simply don’t have the money to hire a lawyer, check to see if your local legal aid office has a skilled lawyer on staff. They may be able to offer you pro bono student loan help.
4. When Do I Need a Private Student Loan Lawyer?
In my experience, most Americans start looking for a lawyer after they’ve defaulted on private student loans.
A few others search for a private student loan lawyer because they’re close to defaulting and want to negotiate a settlement with Navient, National Collegiate Student Loan Trust, a debt collection agency, etc.
And still, others seek a lawyer’s help to try and discharge their private student loans in bankruptcy.
No matter your situation, your goal, since private student loan forgiveness doesn’t exist, is likely the same as all 3 groups of people above:
Get rid of your private student loans as cheap as possible.
Can you do that without an attorney? Sure. Anything’s possible.
But just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should. For example, you can drive with your feet. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
There are so many factors that go into negotiating a private student loan debt settlement. For instance:
- Will the lender accept a lump-sum settlement, a fixed monthly payment settlement, or a combination of a lump-sum and fixed monthly payment?
- Will the lender agree to delete late payments from your credit report?
- How will the settlement be reported to the bureaus (paid-in-full, settled for less, etc.)?
On top of that, negotiating student loan payoff likely forces you to have to speak with the collection agency. And sometimes, they’re rude. They try and make you feel as if you’re a terrible person for trying to settle student loans for pennies on the dollar. (That’s not you being a terrible person; that’s you being smart.)
These are all reasons why you should consider getting privates student loan debt help from a lawyer.
Final Thoughts About Student Loan Lawyers
In this post, I hope I’ve helped you answer the question “Can a lawyer help with student loans?”
When you work with an attorney like myself, you get someone who intimately understands your debt relief options, how to deal with debt collectors, and which loan programs offer the most favorable forgiveness and income-based repayment options.
But the biggest thing you get by hiring the right person is this:
Being able to rest knowing you have someone with your best interest at heart.