College Ave Student Loans: Forgiveness & Repayment Options

#1 Student loan lawyer

Updated on March 5, 2024

In the wake of the Biden administration’s announcement about forgiving billions in student loan debt for millions, you might be scanning the headlines with hope, wondering if your College Ave student loans could also be wiped clean. As someone who’s spent over a decade navigating the complexities of student loan law to help borrowers like you, I understand the weight of that question.

Unfortunately, the straightforward answer is that College Ave student loans currently don’t qualify for forgiveness under any existing federal programs.

Simply put: private student loan forgiveness isn’t a thing.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially when you’re facing steep monthly payments or worrying that the interest rates are chaining you to a debt that seems eternal.

But don’t lose heart. There are still avenues open to you, like refinancing to get a better interest rate, negotiating a settlement, or exploring bankruptcy as a last resort. Each of these options comes with its own set of considerations and potential impacts on your financial health, and I’m here to guide you through them, step by step.

Ahead, I’ll share what you need to know about managing your College Ave student loans and explore the best path forward for your financial future.

Key Takeaways

  • College Ave student loans are private and ineligible for federal forgiveness programs like PSLF and Biden’s debt cancellation.

  • Borrowers with College Ave loans can explore options such as refinancing, negotiating settlements, or bankruptcy for relief.

  • Strategies for managing College Ave loans include seeking temporary relief measures, interest rate reductions, and legal consultation for potential debt discharge.

College Ave Student Loans Aren’t Federal

College Ave specializes in private student loans, not federal ones. This distinction is crucial for understanding what you’re signing up for.

Unlike federal student loans, which are backed by the government and offer standardized terms, College Ave’s loans are private. This means they’re subject to credit checks and require you to meet certain creditworthiness criteria. If your credit history is less than ideal, you might need a cosigner who meets these requirements to qualify.

Here’s where it gets personal: The terms of your loan with College Ave, including your interest rate and repayment options, hinge on your credit score and debt-to-income ratio.

A stronger financial profile can secure you lower interest rates and more favorable repayment terms. This is a stark contrast to federal student loans from the U.S. Department of Education, where every borrower receives the same fixed interest rate and has access to the same repayment and forgiveness programs, regardless of their credit history.

Related: Is My Student Loan Federal or Private?

College Ave Student Loans Don’t Have Forgiveness Options

College Ave student loans do not qualify for the student loan forgiveness initiatives President Biden has introduced since taking office. The reason? These loans are private, not federal, which means they fall outside the umbrella of student loan forgiveness programs designed by the federal government. This includes well-known programs such as:

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

  • SAVE Plan Forgiveness

  • Biden’s broad-based debt cancellation

  • Income-Based Repayment Forgiveness

  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness

  • Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

These benefits are specifically tailored for federal student loans issued by the U.S. Department of Education. The nature of private loans, like those from College Ave, Sallie Mae, SoFi, and others, excludes them from participating in income-driven repayment plans or any of the federal forgiveness programs listed above.

You Can’t Consolidate College Ave Loans With Federal Loans

Discovering after the fact that College Ave is a private lender might leave you wondering if there’s a way to blend those loans with your federal student loans, aiming for federal benefits. It’s a logical question, especially if you’re struggling with your private student loan payments.

The short answer is no, you can’t consolidate College Ave loans with your federal loans.

Consolidation is only open to federal loans. This means that private loans, such as those from College Ave, stand outside the federal consolidation framework. Consequently, they can’t tap into the federal benefits and protections designed exclusively for government-issued loans.

Related: Does Consolidation Student Loans Affect Credit Scores?

What to Do If You Can’t Afford College Ave Student Loan Payments?

Facing difficulties with your College Ave student loan repayments can feel overwhelming, but there are steps you can take to ease the burden. Understanding your options is the first step toward regaining control.

Reach Out for Temporary Relief

Your first move should be to contact your loan servicer, University Accounting Service, to discuss temporary relief options like forbearance or deferment. These measures can pause or reduce your monthly payments for up to six months.

But remember that interest will continue to accrue during this period.

If your loan has a fixed interest rate, you’ll be able to calculate the increase in your payment amount. With a variable interest rate, though, your loan balance could grow more than expected.

Seek an Interest Rate Reduction

Another avenue is to request a temporary interest rate reduction from College Ave. This can lead to lower payments for a while, providing some breathing room. But keep in mind, this is a temporary fix. Once the reduced-rate period ends, your payments will revert to the original, potentially higher rate.

Consider Refinancing for a Long-term Solution

For a more permanent solution, refinancing your student loan with a new lender might be the answer. Refinancing can lower your monthly payments by securing a lower interest rate and possibly extending your repayment term. This means you could end up paying less each month and have more flexibility in your budget.

Use an online student loan refinancing marketplace like Credible to compare rates and loan terms with multiple lenders.

Negotiate a Settlement

If refinancing isn’t an option and you’re facing significant financial hardship, negotiating a settlement with College Ave could be a path worth exploring. Private student loan debt settlement involves agreeing to pay a lump sum that is less than the total amount owed on your loans. While not all lenders are open to settlement, and it requires having access to a substantial amount of cash, it can sometimes lead to a substantial reduction in your overall debt.

Keep in mind, this route can have implications for your credit score and financial situation, so it’s wise to consult with a financial advisor or attorney to understand the full scope of the decision.

File Student Loan Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is often viewed as a last resort due to its long-lasting impact on your credit history. But in certain dire financial situations, it may be considered for private student loans. Unlike federal student loans, private student loans are slightly more amenable to discharge in bankruptcy, though the process is challenging and requires proving “undue hardship.”

In our practice, we’ve guided numerous clients through this intricate process, achieving remarkable outcomes for those burdened by their College Ave student loans. The process typically takes about 6 to 12 months to get a result one way of the other. Many of my clients have seen their entire student loan debt discharged. Others have seen reductions in the total debt owed, with manageable repayment plans spread over years at 0% interest—and in several cases, cosigners were fully released from their obligations.

Seeking advice from a bankruptcy attorney with expertise in discharging student loans in bankruptcy is critical for success. But finding a lawyer with the necessary experience in this niche field can be challenging. For guidance on locating a qualified professional who can assist you, check out our article on the best student loan bankruptcy lawyers.

Bottom Line

While College Ave borrowers may not have access to broad student loan forgiveness programs to eliminate their debt, there are effective strategies available to manage and potentially reduce the burden of student loans. If you’re eager to explore options for freeing yourself from student debt more swiftly and moving forward with your life goals—whether that’s starting a family, purchasing a home, or planning for retirement—I’m here to help.

Schedule a phone call with me. I’m a lawyer with years of experience helping people deal with their loans so they can achieve their personal goals: start a family, buy a house, retire, and so on.

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