Higher education in the United States is expensive: even in-state tuition at public universities can mean several thousand dollars a semester. Tuition at elite private universities and liberal arts colleges regularly runs as high as $ 25,000 per semester. This even before considering housing, food, fees, and course materials.
One of the most common ways of paying for an education is to take out student loans. Most students will incur some amount of debt. Generally only by way of scholarships, need-based grants, deep-pocked parents, and the like can educational debt be avoided. Consequently an entire industry has developed around applying for, issuing, and collecting on these loans.
Most people, however, find that the education they received was worth the cost. With very few exceptions, a bachelor's degree will substantially improve your employment and salary outlooks. Over time this increase in wages can more than make up the cost of an education.
But this generally only happens over time. Immediately after graduation, many find themselves suddenly burdened with tens of thousands of dollars in debt-even running into the hundreds of thousands at some institutions.
If this sudden debt is met with financial difficulty due to unemployment, unforeseen costs like medical bills, or anything else that can strain a bank account, the impact on a graduate's finances can be grave. Beginning a post-collegiate career with debt is stressful enough; extenuating circumstances similar to above can cause trouble for decades to come.
To make repayments of loans comparatively easier on students, several programs have been made available. It's possible, for example, to take out loans via government agencies. Very often government loans are fixed-rate. Many find fixed rates desirable because they facilitate planning: each month, the loan will accumulate interest at such-and-such percent. Variable-rate loans are by nature less predictable, and this uncertainty can sometimes exacerbate the stresses of loan repayment.
In addition, government loan rates often have lower interest rates than comparable private loans. With the exception of grants and certain loans, government-facilitated loans are usually in cooperation with private lenders. As these are government-backed loans, the rates tend to be lower than private loans issued by the director directly.
In certain instances, it's even possible to get government loans that are completely interest-free. Some loan plans even allow you to defer repayment for varying lengths of time, such as after graduation, or even after graduate school.
Even still, government loans are loans all the same and require repayment. If you've found that student loans are placing a burden on you that you are currently unable to handle, there are steps you can take. Loan consolidation services are available that will help you combine your loan repayments into an easier-to-manage repayment plan.
If such measures still fall short, not all hope is lost. There may come a point at which bankruptcy becomes a good option. Bankruptcy is not something to be embarrassed about, particularly in today's volatile economy. There are many bankruptcy protection laws in place to make the process less destructive on your financial well-being.
If you are considering bankruptcy, a skilled bankruptcy attorney can help you make an informed decision. The Boca Raton-based South Florida bankruptcy law offices of Eric N. Klein & Associates, PA are an excellent choice. Their knowledge and years of experience with bankruptcy can help you decide whether bankruptcy is the right choice for you. The sooner you contact them, the sooner you can be on the way to recovery.