What to Do When You Cannot Pay Your Student Loan
Student loans are sometimes a necessary means of helping individuals obtain a college degree. And the hope is that once you have the degree, you can get the job to help pay back those student loans. However, college is expensive and depending on the amount of student loan debt you incurred, it could be difficult to pay off what you owe, even with a decent paying job. If you live in the state of Massachusetts and find yourself in a situation where you are struggling to pay off your student loans, there is an answer. You can consider discharging them through bankruptcy when you find that it will not be possible for you to pay off the debt on your own.
Filing for Bankruptcy
In order to file, and be approved for, bankruptcy in the state of Massachusetts you will need to prove that the continuation of your student loan debt and your inability to pay it off will result in undue hardship for you and your dependents. If you can prove that you are indeed in a financial hardship and are unable to pay off the remaining student loan debt, then all of your student loan debt will then be canceled. In order to file for bankruptcy based on student loan debt, you need to not only file for bankruptcy but also file a petition for adversary proceeding with a determination of undue financial hardship.
When determining whether or not your case falls under undue hardships, the courts in Massachusetts implement specific tests to make that determination. However, the most common test used in Massachusetts is the Brunner test. This test is designed to determine undue hardship based on three factors; you are unable to provide a minimal standard of living for yourself and your dependents based on your current income if you should have to continue paying your loans, other factors involved contribute to your standard of living while paying off the loans, and that you have made every effort to make payments on your loan despite your circumstances.
The Pros and Cons of Bankruptcy
While bankruptcy is certainly a viable option for those who struggle to pay off their student loans and maintain a fair standard of living, it is always best to seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney before making that decision to file for bankruptcy. The benefit of filing for bankruptcy is that you will not be subject to being turned over to collections due to your inability to pay makes your payments. However, it is important to be aware that filing for bankruptcy is something that can stay on your credit report for up to ten years and can affect your ability to have good credit or obtain credit for some time.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy as a way to free yourself from a difficult financial situation involving student loans, find a trustworthy attorney in Massachusetts that can walk you through the process and help you along the way.