Private lenders like Sallie Mae and SoFi have limited forgiveness options compared to federal student loans. Typically, lenders will forgive your balance only if you become permanently disabled and can no longer work or you die. They won’t agree to lower your balance or eliminate your interest because you work in public service, made payments for years, or paid back what you originally borrowed.
A handful of jobs have repayment programs that can repay federal and private student loan debt. But those programs are usually limited to lawyers, healthcare professionals, and military service members.
If you’re a single mom struggling with private student loan debt, look to refinance. While refinancing won’t lower your balance, it can lower your payments if you can get a lower interest rate and longer repayment term. You’ll need a good credit score and enough income to cover your bills and the new loan to get the best rates. Use an online marketplace like Credible to shop with many student loan refinancing lenders at the same time.
Refinancing isn’t an option for everyone — especially if you’ve been a single mom for a while and have had to cover the bills by yourself. You may not have the credit score to get approved or enough money to cover the student loan payments.
Your only options may be to stop paying in hopes of negotiating a settlement or head to bankruptcy court and ask the judge to discharge your student loans. Neither choice is ideal, but they may be your only shot at getting rid of the debt.
Related: How to Get Rid of Private Student Loans