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You took out loans for law school knowing that they'd come due someday, but not anytime soon. Then you graduated, found a decent job, and suddenly your lenders came knocking. And if you maxed out on loans when studying the law, the amount you owe every month can be staggering, even if you're making a Cravath-level salary. For those of us making much less, even modest (by law school standards) student debt can seem completely insurmountable.
But there are ways to survive your student loans and even make payment tolerable. Here are our top tips for dealing with student debt, from the FindLaw archives.
Here's the first thing you should know about your student debt: you've got to pay it. Debt from federal student loans isn't dischargeable, barring a few rare exceptions, even if you go through bankruptcy. And if you just stop paying, you could lose your law license.
The first step towards getting a grip on your student loans is to get a handle of all of your different loans. Yeah, taking out student loans was easy, but you never expected to be met with bills from eight different lenders after graduation, did you? Consolidating your loans can help you bring all your debts together, making them easier to manage.
What can you do if you're barely eking out a middle class income and facing loan payments that take up half your monthly pay check? Thankfully, there are options available for you. You don't have to starve to pay back your creditors. Just sign up for income-driven repayment plans instead.
You somehow stumbled upon some surplus cash. (Congrats!) Now you want to pay down some of the principal on your student loans, to get that albatross off your neck, so to speak. But not all albatrosses are created equal, nor are all student loans. Here's how to decide which to pay off first.
You may be stuck with your law school loans until you die, but at least those bar study loans can be discharged -- if you're unfortunate enough to go bankrupt, that is.