Student debt has become a bigger and bigger presence in the finances of Americans. A recent analysis by Experian points to such debt having increased considerably here in the U.S. over the past decade.
According to this analysis, the total amount of outstanding student debt in the nation has grown by 129 percent since 2008.
And North Carolina has seen an even bigger increase. The analysis suggests that, over the past decade, student debt has increased by 253 percent in the state. As of 2018’s third quarter, the outstanding student debt total in the state was $41.9 billion.
So, higher levels of student debt appear to be something that many people here in North Carolina are dealing with. High levels of such debt have the potential to pose financial challenges for consumers.
Now, while the U.S. as a whole has been seeing increases in student loan debt lately, it has not seen a big spike in student loan delinquencies. In fact, such delinquencies went down between 2015 and 2018.
There are a couple important things to note though when it comes to this. One is that this decrease was not something all regions experienced. A couple U.S. regions, including the South Atlantic, saw an increase in student loan debt for the 2015 to 2018 period.
Also, a person can be up to date on their student loan payments and still be facing financial struggles related to such loans. For example, sometimes, efforts to keep current with large student loan payments lead to individuals falling behind on their other bills.
One tool individuals sometimes turn to when struggling with debt is bankruptcy. Now, while bankruptcy can discharge debt, student debt generally does not receive such a discharge. This do not, however, mean that bankruptcy can’t help with student debt struggles. For example, there are situations in which the payment plans set up in Chapter 13 bankruptcy could help individuals struggling with student debt with stabilizing their overall debt and financial situation, thus perhaps leaving them in a better position to handle their student debt load.
Bankruptcy attorneys can advise individuals who have run into financial problems in relation to high student debt on whether bankruptcy would be a suitable debt relief option for them.