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May and June are the months of graduation season in America. For those with looming student loan repayment and no real job prospects, this season of celebration is bittersweet. Some graduates may be wondering if there is any help for those struggling to make their student loan payments. There are some solid options that will keep graduates out of default.

The key to unlocking student loan repayment options is to communicate with the lender. New grads can choose an Income-Based Repayment or Income-Contingent Repayment. For those who regularly make their income-contingent payments over a period of time, there may qualify for some relief from some of their student loan debt. For those who work for a non-profit or in government positions, there may be a public service forgiveness of loans after making 120 qualified payments.

When struggling to pay student loans, a borrower should never opt to not pay anything. This can ruin credit for years to come and block any hope of home ownership. Since credit card debt can be discharged in bankruptcy, some grads may opt to pay their student loans with credit cards and then declare bankruptcy. This strategy can backfire when evaluated in bankruptcy court. Still others may seek to pay off student loans with a line of home equity. This can be a viable option, but borrowers may risk their largest asset, their home, if a payment is missed. Though student loan debt is cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, other debts, such as medical expenses, can be discharged in bankruptcy.

Source:,3 Student Loan Strategies That Won’t Get You Out of Debt,” Adam Levin, May 15, 2014