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Avoiding desperation on those student loans

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Desperation can lead to questionable decisions.

In a new survey commissioned by LendEDU, which provides information about student loans, 46 percent of the nearly 1,000 people polled with student loan debt said they would be willing to delay collecting Social Security for partial or complete student loan forgiveness.

There was even a legislative attempt to give student debtors such an option. The Student Security Act of 2017 — federal legislation that failed to pass last year — would have granted $550 in student loan forgiveness for each month a student debtor was willing to raise his or her full retirement age, or $6,600 per year, to a maximum forgiveness of $40,150.

The nearly $1.5 trillion owed for student loans is severely cramping the finances of a stranglehold on a generation, but experts say there are other options than such a drastic move.

•Would it be worth the sacrifice? “Trading in and pushing back social security would reduce an important benefit that could be pivotal to your retirement later in life,” says Andrew Rombach, a contributing editor for LendEDU in Hoboken, New Jersey. “You could make bad decisions that increase the need for social security later on — only to be barred from this benefit for a time.”

•Explore other options: Find the best repayment plan for your situation. “If you’re doing well in your career, explore refinancing your loans to a lower interest rate. If you work for a nonprofit or the government, sign up for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.If you’re struggling to make your monthly payments and are on the verge of default, go for one of the federal income-driven repayment plans,” says Brandon Yahn, founder of StudentLoansGuy.com.

•Tap your employer. There is a trend in companies offering help with student loan repayment. For example, Crystal & Company a Manhattan insurance brokerage firm provides employees up to $10,000 to repay student debt.

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