When you enrolled in college, you probably thought you were making an investment in your future, and you were. What you hadn’t planned on was that the economy would tank, jobs would disappear and your student loans would become a huge burden following you around for the rest of your working life.
PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS
Unfortunately, that is the reality many find themselves in today. With the economic downturn and recessions of the 2000’s and 2010’s, many went to college or pursued higher education to help their chances of landing a good paying job. Consequently, student loan debt has soared, higher than ever before. In particular, many were forced to take out higher interest rate private student loans, not backed by the federal government.
Some less scrupulous schools lured people into education programs with promises of high paying jobs that never materialized. With tuition costs also soaring, private student loan debt has ballooned to crisis levels in this country. If you find yourself with less income than you anticipated and unable to keep up with student loan payments, there is help with an attorney negotiated student loan debt settlement.
WHAT ARE PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS?
There are two main categories of student loans: federal and private. Federal student loans, such as Stafford Loans are backed by the federal government and are highly regulated. We do not work with federal student loans.
On the contrary, private student loans may be issued by well known banks, like Citigroup or Chase Bank. These loans may have higher interest rates than federally backed loans. Our student loan debt negotiation program is for privately issued student loans only. If you are unsure of what type of loans you have, you can contact us for a free evaluation.
WHY YOU NEED A LOAN LAWYER TO FIGHT FOR YOU
Here is the main reason you need a student loan lawyer to fight for you and protect you against student loan lenders, such as Navient, Discover, National Collegiate Trust, etc. — there is A LOT of money exchanging hands in the student lending market. Whenever there is a lot of money exchanging hands in an industry, people tend to get greedy and break the rules. It is no secret that student lenders, servicers and collectors tend to break the rules.
The CFPB, the government’s financial watchdog agency, recently reported that the federal government’s own student loan debt collectors are breaking the rules. According to the CFPB, “Some of the debt collectors, who work under contracts from the Education Department and weren’t identified by the CFPB, threatened borrowers with lawsuits even though they had no intention of suing. Some used call scripts and letters that misled borrowers about the benefits of repaying their defaulted federal student loans. Misleading borrowers about their debts is generally illegal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.”
Or there is the story of the “Corinthian 15” who are protesting student debt because there for-profit school, Corinthian College, illegally pushed predatory loans on their students after lying to them about career assistance and job prospects. The government shutdown Corinthian College due to this fraudulent lending and collection scheme, but previous students are still being collected against.
Basically, there is A LOT of rule breaking going on in the student lending industry, which is why you need a lawyer to fight for you and protect your rights. These lenders and collectors will definitely have lawyers on their side. It is in your best interest to have one as well.
ARE THERE OTHER ALTERNATIVES?
Some private student loan lenders will offer forbearance or deferment of student loans, especially after graduation, in order for you to find a job. In some cases, if you are going through difficult times, you may be able to defer private student loans. But ultimately, the principal, interests and penalties will add up and you may find yourself with student loans you cannot afford.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Unlike federally insured or state insured student loans, the borrower and co-signor have many rights. For example, the Truth in Lending Act, Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and Fair Credit Reporting Act ALL apply to private student loans. More important, most of these loans have mandatory and binding arbitration clauses that only a seasoned litigator can navigate. If you are struggling with your private student loan, do not ignore it or make financial mistakes such as only making a minimum payment to stop the debt collectors. This is a serious legal issue that requires legal attention.
If you have private student loans, or are unsure of what type of loans you have, please contact us for a free consultation with a student loan attorney.