Going to college seemed like a good idea at the time. It was your key to a better future, or at least that is what people told you. Now, years later, the education that was supposed to propel you forwards, is the very thing holding you back.

Half of those due to start repaying federal student loans between 2010 and 2012 have not yet reduced their loan total, according to a report by Moody’s Investors Service. That is eight to 10 years of merely keeping the interest at bay or worse.

With the economy now struggling, it may be harder than ever to repay your student debt. While the temporary freeze on payments may help, it does not reduce your debt. If you end up defaulting on your debt, it will affect your credit rating and make it harder to get a mortgage to buy a home.

So what can you do if you cannot pay your student loans?

  • Sit and hope the government bails you out: A recent court ruling in Delaware dashed the hopes of many who were hoping to have their loans forgiven.
  • Hide when the debt collectors knock on the door: Hiding does not solve your problem. Worrying about every knock on your door may cause you emotional harm.
  • Seek legal help: Admitting you have a problem and need help is a vital first step to solving your problem.

There are legal options available to ease your debt problems. Understanding them allows you to work towards a positive outcome and prevent student loan companies from harassing you.