Should I Stop paying My Penn State Student Loans?

Question:

Dear Steve,

I went to Penn state from 2012-2015 and gained a HUGE $100,000 of debt (now at $80,000).

Initially, I had probably seven different types of loans. When I applied to PSU, I was out of state, applied for FAFSA, 60 or so scholarships, and all the financial aid I could get. Well, it barely helped as I’m still in massive amounts of debt.

A few years ago, I successfully refinanced and brought my payment from $1300 a month to $830 a month.

Now I am suffering, and I don’t qualify for any type of relief because it’s now a private student loan through Navient. I own a home now too. This $830 payment is killing me. I can’t save money. And I can barely pay my bills.

Should I stop paying my loan?

Carly

Answer:

Dear Carly,

Converting federal loans into private loans is typically never a good thing to do. But you discovered that on your own.

We can engage in all sorts of academic debates about the right thing to do, but ultimately this comes down to a math problem.

Your income can either support the required payment or it can’t.

It is impossible to manufacture income out of nothing.

So, defaulting on the private student loan may be more of a reality than a choice. And defaulting with a plan can be a reasonable plan in the face of impossible odds.

But I would urge you not to do anything impulsive or rash.

I’m a pilot. Walking out to the airplane and flying away without doing any flight planning would be insane. A good cross-country flight planning session is exhaustive and gathers all the data that might impact the trip. That’s what you need for your situation.

Should I Stop paying My Penn State Student Loans?

You need some student loan flight planning to determine precisely what you should do, what to expect, and where you will land.

I would strongly suggest you contact my debt coach friend Damon Day and work together to evaluate your current situation and develop a plan of attack to resolve this situation with a likely, organized, and logical strategy.

One potential outcome might be lower monthly payments and a settlement for less than you owe.

Sincerly,

You are not alone. I’m here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don’t give up.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach