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Debt relief can help struggling college graduates in Pennsylvania

The American dream for a person in Pennsylvania may be to graduate from college, claim a dream job and eventually buy a home and raise a family. However, those who have an exorbitant amount of college loan debt may feel that their dreams are too far away to reach; in this situation, debt relief likely can't come quickly enough. New data show that many college graduates have so much student loan debt that they can't afford a mortgage.

People in the United States today owe more than $1 trillion in student loan debt, which is three times what it was 10 years ago. College debt continues to be a major deterrent for people who are trying to get mortgages. In addition, stricter lending requirements, a still-struggling economy and increasing home prices are causing a drop in the number of home buyers today.

Many of these college loan debtors are in their 20s and 30s -- a group that traditionally has played a significant role in the home buying market. Buying a home is often viewed as a sign of success for an adult, so not being able to buy a house certainly may be discouraging for many of these young people. Although college degrees in the past translated to higher earnings and thus a greater chance of qualifying for a home loan, this is no longer necessarily the case.

When one's financial obligations seem too overwhelming to handle, a person in Pennsylvania may choose to file for bankruptcy. This legal avenue allows a consumer to discharge many different types of debt. Even though student loans can't be discharged except for in particular extenuating circumstances, alleviating all other debt can help the person to more easily pay down his or her college loans and finally experience the true joy of debt relief.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Student debt holds back many would-be home buyers", Tim Logan, April 19, 2014

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