Calling it “one of the more painful aftershocks of the Great Recession,” ombudsman Rohit Chopra from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau underscored in a speech late last year a deep and enduring economic problem that cuts widely across American society.

Namely, that is student loan debt, an onus that weighs heavily on millions of Americans and adversely impacts both their present living conditions and future financial prospects.

Many people in Arkansas and nationally without school-related debt might be greatly surprised regarding the extent to which it saddles others. One estimate posits that about 40 million Americans collectively owe approximately $1.2 trillion in student loans. That staggering indebtedness follows only mortgage debt as the leading source of household liability across the country.

As has been often noted, student loans are more difficult — though not routinely impossible — to discharge through bankruptcy than are other kinds of indebtedness, such as medical debt or various retail-related obligations.

A point equally well noted it that, notwithstanding the difficulty of discharging such debt, having it at all makes it difficult for many people to make ends meet or routinely meet their other payment obligations. That indeed makes student indebtedness a primary catalyst underlying many bankruptcy filings.

It also skews the economy in fundamental ways, notes a recent USA Today article on the subject. Post-graduates saddled with high debt often delay home purchases. Many don’t visit car dealerships. Some are hesitant to take entrepreneurial risks. For many, debt unrelated to student loans piles up.

Even though student loans might continue to be a challenge for many people following bankruptcy, many persons seeking debt relief — often caused by or contributed to by student indebtedness — can find a workable solution and realize a fresh financial start by securing assistance from a proven bankruptcy attorney.

Source: USA TODAY, “The long-term impact of student-loan debt,” Pooja Bhatia, March 3, 2014