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The broad impact of onerous student loan debt; the need for reform

The headlines and stories appearing across the country recently concerning the inability of Congress to act to prevent continuing spiraling costs associated with student loans underscore what many commentators say is becoming a commonplace factor in many bankruptcy proceedings: Student loan debt is often the central factor driving debtors to the financial abyss.

Looked at in even a cursory way, it is not difficult to see how an untenable loan repayment program spills over into other areas of an individual’s financial life and affects far more than just that person. Economists and critics of the manner in which college education is routinely financed in the United States cite the carryover effect of high debt on the larger society as well as on the individual strapped with onerous debt obligations.

As noted by the president of one nonprofit group that seeks to help students understand and deal with their debt loads, those loads have implications for virtually every other spending decision in life. High debt can rule out buying a house, purchasing a car, getting married or starting a business. Given the approximately $1 trillion in outstanding debt owed by nearly 40 million Americans, many of them still paying well into their 40s and 50s, it is easy to discern the stark degree to which high debt levels in this one area impede national economic progress and recovery.

A proven bankruptcy attorney is not a panacea for all economic ills. A candid and confidential discussion with an experienced attorney in this specialized area can go far, though, in promoting a person’s understanding of the financial options he or she may have in reducing financial stresses and restoring a solid financial future.

Source: Huffington Post, "More debt. Little understanding. Big problems." Paul Combe, June 28, 2013

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