United Student Loan Assistance Center
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Some of the benefits and advantages of federal student loans is given below. Unlike other forms of consumer debt student loans receive special protections under current laws ranging from collection to bankruptcy. This special status applies not only to the primary borrower (the student) but also to any co-signer on the loan. Student loans are one of the hardest types of debt to shake. Current U.S. bankruptcy law allows a court to discharge these loans in bankruptcy only in the narrowest circumstances. In fact the legal requirements for discharging education loans are so formidable to meet that most bankruptcy attorneys avoid student loan cases altogether. Since so few loan borrowers qualify for bankruptcy discharge under the law the vast majority of loan debt is carried until the borrower repays the loan or dies -- although some non-federal student loans even survive death passing the debt on to the borrowers co-signer.
Under this legislation the Department of Education can buy federal college loans from lenders thereby providing these lenders with the liquidity they need to continue funding new parent and student loans. The law specifically targets lenders who in the current credit crunch are unable to find investors in the secondary market willing to purchase their student loan portfolios. Even with this legislation in place however lenders continue to find themselves forced to suspend their student loan programs. As recently as July 28 the Brazos Higher Education Service Corp. the 26th-largest originator of federal student loans in 2007 and the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority the largest student loan issuer to Massachusetts residents both announced that they would no longer be able to provide either new or current borrowers with student loans.
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For borrowers who are on the governments income-based repayment plan any outstanding federal college loans can be discharged prior to full repayment if the borrower has made her or his monthly loan payments for 25 years. Borrowers who go to work for the government or the public sector can have their federal college loans forgiven after 10 years. Federal college loans can also be forgiven in the event the borrower dies or becomes permanently disabled. Non-federal private student loans on the other hand arent required to offer any of these payment-deferment or discharge provisions. It is at the lenders discretion whether to offer a struggling borrower deferred or lower monthly loan payments and even whether to discharge the private student loan upon the borrowers death or permanent disability.