Editor’s Note: 

Today we are running the eighth segment of the 15-part series on college-student-loan debt.  (Thank you to onlinecolleges.net for putting this together.)

Debt collectors hired by the government rarely explain the options debtors have for repayments.

Those struggling to pay back their student loans do have options that can make it possible to repay them without extreme measures like wage garnishment, but debt collectors aren’t likely to tell debtors about them. Many are unaware that they can make loan payments based on their income through a new government program. In fact, the program has had considerably less participation than expected, an outcome that many blame on the government resorting to hiring debt collection agencies rather than working with debtors to find mutually beneficial solutions. There are other ways to avoid defaulting, too, like forbearance and a variety of deferrment programs. Yet, the programs can’t help those who don’t know about them, and many who’ve already fallen behind on their loan payments are unaware that these options even exist.