Can a Lawyer Help With Student Loans
A student loan lawyer can help you if you’re needing expert legal advice for stopping wage garnishment, getting lower student loan payments, negotiating federal or private loan settlements, or seeking to discharge student debt in bankruptcy.
They can also help determine your options for:
- student loan forgiveness
- loan cancellation if you’re a public service worker,
- total and permanent disability
- closed school
- borrower defense to repayment
What Can a Student Loan Lawyer Do
For most student loan problems, a student loan lawyer isn’t going to need to file a lawsuit. They’re simply going to need to contact the student loan lender, loan servicer, or debt collector to get them to do what the law requires.
But if a lawsuit is required, for instance, to sue a student loan servicer for saying you’re not eligible for a forgiveness program, then a lawyer who truly knows student loans is who you want to hire.
But I Thought You Couldn’t Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy
This thinking is exactly why you want to get legal advice from a student loan attorney. Student loans can be discharged in bankruptcy; you just have to show undue hardship. Federal student loans are harder to discharge than private loans. The US Department of Education offers student loan repayment plans based on your income. Private lenders don’t. Because of that, it’s hard to prove undue hardship for loans held by the federal government.
Can a Lawyer Negotiate Student Loan Debt
A lawyer can negotiate student loan debt settlements for both federal and private student loans.
There are two main reasons why you’d want to hire a lawyer versus a debt relief company.
First, the lawyer has expert knowledge of the laws and rules affecting student loan settlements. Things like the statute of limitations, contract rights, what financial information needs to be shared, etc.
Second, because of the attorney-client relationship, the lawyer has a duty to always do what’s in your best interest and to stay in contact with you.
Having said all of that, the natural question to ask is do you need a lawyer to negotiate a settlement?
You don’t need to hire a lawyer. You hire them so you don’t have to deal with the collection calls and you know you have an expert handling your situation.
How Much Does a Student Loan Lawyer Cost
Hiring a student loan lawyer can cost you between $500 and $10+ thousand dollars in legal fees depending on what help you need. For instance, help consolidating loans or lowering monthly payments by getting you into a better student loan repayment plan is typically cheaper than defending a lawsuit or getting rid of student loans in bankruptcy.
While that may seem like a lot of money (especially when you consider many things a lawyer does you can do yourself die for free) hiring a lawyer to resolve your student loan issues is cheaper than what could happen if mistakes are made.
Here’s what I mean.
All tax season, people contact me because their tax refund was taken for defaulted student loans. Many complained they were enrolled in a rehabilitation agreement and had been making payments to get out of student loan default. So they didn’t understand why their refund was taken.
These people unnecessarily lost thousands of dollars in refunds. Had they got expert legal advice they would have known to wait until they’re completely out of default before filing.
A student loan lawyer could prevent that from happening.
And if it does happen, that lawyer may even be able to sue the collection agency for misleading you.
Money aside, the biggest reason why hiring a student loan lawyer makes sense no matter the cost, is for peace of mind.
As my client told me, although she’s highly educated and can handle her student loans herself, she’d rather hire someone whose calling it is to help people solve their student loan problems.
How to Find a Student Loan Lawyer
The easiest way to find a student loan lawyer is to search Google or contact a state bar association.
There’s one big problem with both of those options:
Finding a lawyer that’s actually a student loan lawyer and not just a lawyer who says they help with student loans.
For that problem, I don’t have a good answer on how to avoid speaking with those lawyers.
But I do have some questions, depending on your situation, you should ask:
- What percentage of their practice is dedicated to helping student loan borrowers?
- How long have they been helping people with student loan problems?
- How many student loan settlements have they negotiated in the past year?
- How many student loan bankruptcy cases have they filed to discharge student loans?
- While these aren’t all the questions you could ask, they’re a good starting point.
Want a Free Consultation With a Student Loan Lawyer
I’ve helped hundreds of borrowers like you with their federal loans and private loans.
The first step is talking so I can figure out if I can help with your student loan problems.
The first talk is free.