We recently were able to help a client reach a very satisfactory "income-based repayment" solution for his federal student loans. He had $291,000 in about 27 different federal student loans, both subsidized and unsubsidized. We were able to help him apply to have them consolidated, and combined into one new loan that is being paid through "income-based repayment" or IBR.

IBR reduced his payments from $2500+ or whatever they would have been (that he could not pay) to $340 per month. Of course that amount can change based on changes to his annual income. And he has to pay for 25 years. But at the end of 25 years, any remaining balance due is forgiven, and does not have to be paid.

How do you even have that much in loans? He had college and then graduate work in a medical-related field, but then was not able to complete his education, and took a lower-paying job. Also, we could compute his payments without counting his wife's income, as they filed taxes "married filing separately." Not everyone qualifies for IBR, but if you do, it can really help reduce your payments.

And I don't believe that you need a lawyer to do it. We helped that one client because he had a very large amount of debt, and he was too busy in his job to do it himself. But if you are diligent and work on it, you should be able to do it yourself.

Visit the student loan related links that are on this website, they link to the resources and forms that you need with the Department of Education.

J Thomas Black
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Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization
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