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Filing for bankruptcy will not reduce New Jersey student loans

The majority of college graduates in New Jersey and nationwide leave their respective colleges and universities with something in addition to their diplomas -- student loan debt. Paying back those loans -- or not being able to pay them back as the case may be -- is a growing concern. This is due in part to the fact that student loans are not generally discharged in a bankruptcy.

Therefore, many New Jersey graduates who have student loan debt could be wondering what alternatives for paying the loans back exist. Of course, lenders have a variety of payment plans available to help with making payments, but some borrowers are looking for a way to pay down that debt faster. One option that might not be as well-known is volunteer work.

A number of organizations will pay a portion of an individual's student loan debt in exchange for the use of his or her skills. The potential number of people willing to give their time to a worthy cause could be large since estimates from 2012 indicate nearly 70 percent of college students are in debt before leaving school. During that year, the average amount of student loan debt that came with a diploma was $29,400.

Dedicating a significant amount of time to volunteer work could pose a problem for graduates who have a troublesome amount of non-student loan debt as well. Some individuals struggle just to pay for necessities such as rent and food. Even though it will not eliminate student loans, filing for bankruptcy could eliminate the additional debts that create a barrier to paying off student loans. With a clean slate and fresh financial start, taking advantage of volunteer programs to reduce student loan debt may be possible.

Source: The Huffington Post, You Can Pay Off Your Student Loans By Doing Good For The World, Eleanor Goldberg, Feb. 21, 2014

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