In Florida, people owe $85.5 billion dollars in student debt. Over the past decade, Orlando’s student loan debt increased from $400 million to $1.26 billion, according to Experian, a consumer credit reporting company.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, which covers Central Florida, is starting a new program to help quickly pay back student loans and navigate repayment options. Amid growing national concerns over student debt, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court is starting a new program on August 1, 2019 intended to help borrowers more quickly pay back student loans and navigate repayment options.
The program is for people who have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which enables debtors with regular income to develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts.
Unlike other types of debt, student debt generally can’t be cancelled and there aren’t a lot of refinancing options, as there are for mortgages. If debtors stop making payments on student loans, or even if payments are returned because the loans are in forbearance, it becomes a large problem because interest will be added which drives up the total amount owed.
You may be eligible for income-based repayment plans or Public Service Loan Forgiveness, which is a national program for people who work for the government, nonprofit organizations or other groups that provide public services. To qualify, people also must be using an income-driven repayment plan and make 120 qualifying payments.
The program will include an online portal where debtors can upload information that will allow them to work out plans with lenders so they can pay what they can afford.
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