Borrowers have been drowning in student loan debt for a considerable amount of time. Each year, the amount of student loan debt in California keeps on rising. While student loan debt itself is generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy, certain borrowers may be able to get the relief they need and eliminate debts that can help them remain financially afloat.

Those who have served in the military can participate in a program called the Service Members Civil Relief Act. The program allows military veterans to keep their interest rates low and they may be eligible for public service loan forgiveness. The public service loan forgiveness program is for members who are active-duty on a full-time basis. They could end up having their federal student loans forgiven after 10 years. In order to qualify, they will need to make their loan payments in full for a period of 120 months.

If a member of the military happens to leave prior to reaching the 10-year period, they can still be eligible for the program, with the stipulation of obtaining a comparable job position under the Relief Act. The process entails remitting an employment certification document on a yearly basis over a 10-year period. Afterward, they are required to remit a separate document in order to have the leftover balance canceled. There are other programs available such as pay-as-you-earn and income-based repayment programs.

The programs that are in place can help service members and other consumers eliminate debts. California borrowers can elect to participate in income-based payment programs or have all of their student loan debts forgiven all together, after a certain amount of time. Regardless of their decision or what they qualify for, this can open the doors to alleviate an overwhelming amount of debt that has burdened many borrowers. Others may find that bankruptcy protection could be a good option for finding a fresh financial start to put them back on the right track for the future.

Source: Huffington Post, Student Loan Relief Available Through Federal Programs For Service Members, Kelsey Sheehy, Nov. 11, 2013