So you went to law school here in New Jersey, you got a degree, but no job (or no high paying job), and over $100,000 in student loans that you can't afford to repay!  Now what do you do?

Well, if the lion's share of those student loans were through federal programs like Stafford and Graduate PLUS, plenty! You probably did not opt for a specific repayment plan and got stuck in a standard, ten year fixed payment plan.  At 7.9% interest on the law school loans, a $100,000 balance will set you back $1,208 per month!  Ouch!

But the Department of Education offers repayment plans that are income based!  They go by your debt-to-income ratio and have a 25 year repayment plan.  Yes, I know you do not want to be paying your loan for that long, but consider this.

Under an Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) plan, on that same balance, while earning a $35,000 annual salary, the payment would be about $397.17!  Under an Income Based Repayment (IBR) plan, if approved for that plan, with the same salary and family size (just you), you would be paying about $228!

These plans are not about paying off your loan; they are about surviving financially while making the payments.  Should you make partner at a big firm and be able to pay $1,200 per month, then great!  Change your repayment plan!

On the other hand, if you struggle for 25 years and there is still a balance on the loan at the end? It gets wiped out! You might face a tax bill for the forgiveness income, depending what the tax laws are then, but you would have been able to pay every month and live your life (and the career you always wanted)!

If you live in New Jersey and are struggling with payment on federal student loan debt, I may be able to be of assistance. Just download this questionnaire, fill it out, and then fax it to me at 856-686-9911 or e-mail it to me. I will then review it to determine if I can be of assistance and contact you to discuss representation.

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.