More than 45 million individuals owe an aggregate amount of at least $1.5 trillion worth of student loan debts based on data provided by the Federal Reserve. The average student loan debt for New Jersey residents comes to $32,247 per borrower, as reported by Forbes magazine. 

While you may find yourself struggling to make payments, a bankruptcy generally does not discharge student loans except in very limited circumstances. If you borrowed funds to attend a college or university that engaged in fraudulent practices, however, you may petition for a discharge. Borrowers who become completely and permanently disabled may also include student loans in their bankruptcy petition. 

Options for creating a budget and paying a more affordable amount may be available through your student loan service provider. Smaller payment amounts, however, may add up when combined with your other expenses and create a financial hardship. 

The high cost of housing and basic living expenses such as food, gas and clothing has contributed to nearly 12% of student loan borrowers landing in default. This reflects a situation in which a borrower has fallen behind and has not made his or her minimum monthly payment for at least 90 days. 

A creditor may file a legal action against borrowers who are in default and demand that they immediately pay the entire balance of their student loan. While it is impossible for most borrowers to make a large enough payment to satisfy the demand, a creditor may instead move to garnish wages or place a lien on any valuable assets such as a house or business. 

Filing for bankruptcy protection may provide you with an automatic stay that requires creditors to cease all contact with you. While it may not discharge your student loans, it may help in obtaining a reasonable degree of much-needed relief.