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Debt relief through bankruptcy can help former college students

Debt is a four-letter word that sparks a range of emotions in people, including frustration and even anger or desperation. This is because consumers in Pennsylvania and other parts of the country often struggle to get rid of their extensive debt and are eager to obtain some form of debt relief. A particular segment of the population that is particularly struggling with debt includes those who attended for-profit postsecondary institutions and took out large loans to train at these schools.

Many for-profit colleges offer to train pupils to become professionals such as law enforcement workers, talent managers, cartoonists and chefs. However, as these institutions have proliferated, more problems associated with excessive college debt have also been documented. These individuals appear to have higher loans than do those who attend public colleges or nonprofit private institutions.

In addition, students at these for-profit schools often have higher rates of default on student loans and an uncertain earning potential. To make matters worse, some of these schools incur problems with those state agencies overseeing them or with accreditation. When a for-profit school fails to uphold its promises, students suffer because they end up walking away from the school with no diploma yet thousands of dollars in student loan debt.

When debt seems out of control, a person in Pennsylvania can easily become overwhelmed and feel helpless. However, a personal bankruptcy filing in our state can offer quick debt relief. Student loan debt typically can’t be formally discharged through a bankruptcy filing, but other forms of debt -- such as credit card debt or medical debt – can be, thus making it more possible for a person to pay back his or her student loans.

Source:, "For-profit colleges' alumni often in debt and out of work", Nanette Asimov and Stephanie M. Lee, July 26, 2014

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