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Debt relief available for those with overwhelming student debt

Being forgiven for doing a wrong can feel good. Being forgiven of one's student loan debt totaling tens of thousands of dollars may feel even better in Florida. More and more people are pursuing debt relief by taking advantage of government programs that forgive certain amounts of college debt. This program, however, does pose some challenges.

First, the programs are costly, sparking concerns among federal officials as to whether they are sustainable. In addition, they fear that these programs are only encouraging universities to increase their tuition. These plans have experienced a whopping 40 percent increase during the past six months.

Right now, more than one million people in the United States, who owe about $72 billion, are part of such plans. Some of these include medical school graduates -- the programs would allow them to make payments monthly for 10 years and then have the remainder of their debt forgiven. Without this help, a medical school graduate may end up paying nearly $1 million, thanks to loan interest. College graduates' debt burden today may hinder them from being able to purchase homes or pay for their future children's education.

Student loan debt undoubtedly continues to be a major problem in today's society, with a majority of college graduates leaving campus with overwhelming debt. Although debt forgiveness plans are growing in popularity, not all graduates are eligible for these debt relief programs. Under current law, student loan debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy except under a hardship exception that is difficult to achieve. Nevertheless, a personal bankruptcy filing may help to eradicate other types of debt so that additional income may be available to satisfy student loan payments in Florida.

Source: msnbc.com, "Students seek loan forgiveness in overwhelming numbers", Jane Timm, April 22, 2014

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