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Overwhelmed by Student Loan Debt: What Happens if I Default?

Cartoon of man holding up title of "student loan"

When you applied for those student loans years ago, like many you probably had such high hopes for the future that a realistic post-college budget wasn’t really on your mind at the time. And whether those loans were for a liberal-arts degree, business degree, or for graduate school as you hoped to go on and perhaps become a lawyer or doctor, you can probably now attest to the stress—along with many others—that comes along with trying to pay those sums of money back later. When you are young, possibly still in your teens even at the time that you apply for a student loan, chances are you are not yet experienced in life yet to understand how difficult financial priorities can sometimes become. Often, when times get tight—and they may be very tight more than once as you go through different phases of life—you’ll find yourself weighing out one bill against another, and sometimes wondering which ones you may have to stop paying altogether as paying for the house, car, and life’s basic necessities such as groceries take center stage.

Defaulting on your student loan is certainly not a decision to be taken lightly, and should generally be avoided. With students loan debt at an all-time high of $1.2 trillion, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it’s easy to assume a significant portion of that is not getting paid back, or at least not on time. And indeed, recent figures cited earlier in the year from the Wall Street Journal indicate that of those individuals with student loans, one in six had not paid on their debt in over a year, meaning that $56 billion is in default, and it looks like that number may grow as others as millions of others are becoming late on payments as well, or sending them into deferment.

As you may struggle with finances or the question of how to handle what seems like an insurmountable amount of student debt that will never get paid, and even as you may consider bankruptcy, it’s obviously a good idea to consult an attorney like those you will find at Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC who can help you examine your options while keeping in mind that it’s best to do everything possible not to default.

Looking at the previously mentioned figures from around the US regarding student loan debt, it’s plain to see that few are alone in this predicament with paying back student loan debt. Those who go into default will most likely have that follow them into old age. The perils of not dealing with this now are very predictable, and can be unpleasant.

Consequences Include:

  • Negative impacts to your credit rating
  • Garnishment of wages
  • Debt collection harassment for both you and your co-signer
  • Tax refund monies being re-routed by the IRS to student loan services

The idea behind getting a student loan in the first place was to find success and satisfaction in a career and in life, not to be weighed down miserably with the overwhelming burden of financial stress instead, and perhaps even a degree you are not satisfied with or may not be using at all today. For guidance, discussion, and an analysis of your student loans, contact the attorneys at Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC. Find out what other repayment options and alternative options are available before you decide to go so far as defaulting on your student loan.

Call today for a free consultation at (844) 431-3851, or email at

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