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Student loan debt is one of the most difficult types to deal with. It’s not normally able to be discharged in bankruptcy, and the interest rates can be high. Monthly payments can easily exceed the cost of rent or a mortgage for some students in Little Rock, which puts them in a financial bind.

There are a few things you can do to manage your student loans in the long term. These three options could be a solution for current or future financial issues that arise from student loan debt.

1. Consolidate your student loans

For many people, consolidating loans is a good place to start. For example, a student might have $50,000 in loans and pay six lenders. Each lender might charge a different amount, like $100 a month or $25 a month. If, combined, the student is paying $800 a month for all of the loans, a consolidation might help by reducing the payment overall.

Drop the monthly loan to $400 or $500 thanks to a lower interest rate on a personal loan. What you pay monthly will depend on your current interest rates, the interest rate of a new consolidation loan and the monthly payment you negotiate with the lender.

2. Defer your student loans

Deferring your loans may be another option. If you have loans that you can’t afford to pay right now, you may ask the lender to defer the loan for a period of time. This might give you a break from paying back what you owe for a month, two months or longer, depending on the terms.

With a deferment, there is no student loan interest accruing while you can’t pay.

3. Enter into forbearance

Forbearances are similar to deferments and allow you to stop paying on your student loans for a specific length of time. You’ll need to apply through the lender. Keep in mind that the interest on your loan will continue to accrue while you’re in forbearance.

These are three options for tackling your student loan debt. When you can’t pay, a forbearance or deferment may help. If you need to lower what you pay each month and want to pay only one bill, then consolidating is a good choice.

If these are not options for you, your attorney can talk to you about specific alternatives that may help you get out of debt or be able to better manage your payments each month.