I have federal and private student loans that definitely amount to more than I ever wanted. I felt like I was drowning with them for a very long time. (Didn't help that right after college I made some bad decisions regarding money and missed a few payments...)

Anyway, I finally feel some slight relief after I refinanced recently. Rates were better than what I had started with so I figured "why not?" Now I have a slightly more manageable payment and I see the balance getting a little smaller each month. Still not as much change as I want of course.

Other options that I'm aware of are working in public service positions to get forgiveness. The most popular I know of is teaching, even something like ESL for adults or overseas. It's tempting for federal loans, but it doesn't apply to private, I believe.

To get any relief from your public student loans by working in the public sector isn't what most think it is.  You have to pay 120 on time monthly payments on your loan while working in the public sector.  That is 10 years to wait to see if any or all of your remaining balance will be forgiven.  Most public loan repayments are set so that the loan is paid in full in 10 years.  

I spent 10 years paying back my loans, but pay them back I did, and that was working at jobs that did not pay well.. believe me, there were many months I had to choose between making that payment and having heat. I guess I don't understand the thought process behind taking out LOANS and then expecting them to be 'forgiven' instead of paid back. That's why they're called loans and not gifts.

But to be helpful, get a job... or two... or three... and pay them off. Work with the lender if the payment's are too high, I'm sure they'd rather have something than nothing. It can't hurt to call and find out what they'll be willing to settle for every month before they send it to collections... which will result in ruining your credit on top of everything else.

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