Settlements are the option considered by students who find it very difficult to repay the loans taken by them for their education. Settlements involve an intermediate agency that negotiates with the lender to provide the student borrower an ease in repayment.
Settlement agencies charge some fees upfront when one enrolls for their settlement program. Once a student is enrolled, the settlement agency collects some money every month from the student and accumulates it into a temporary escrow account. This money is accumulated until it is deemed suitable enough by the settlement agency to negotiate with the lender. The negotiations result in the student having to pay a reduced amount, even on the principal, and thus settle the loan. A settlement may, on the face of it, save the student even up to 50% of the loan amount.
Settlement agencies are more an advantage to the lenders than to the borrowers. They collect money from the borrower, and thus the lender is assured that they will be paid their due amount. If the student were to file for bankruptcy, then the lender would not have got anything of the due. Thus, settlement agencies work hand-in-glove with lending companies, though on the face it may seem that they exist for the borrowers’ benefit.
The option of settlement must be considered by the student only in the most extreme of cases. In actuality, a settlement makes the student pay more than bargained for. Since there are no payments to the lender for several years, the loan becomes a default, incurring late charges and even interest upon interest. When the settlement company finally wishes to settle the loan, the loan has to be revived and this attracts more charges. These charges are usually hidden from the borrower. Also, settlement companies charge monthly maintenance fees from the student. Thus, a student must very carefully consider the wisdom of settlement before approaching the agency. It must also be considered if filing for bankruptcy is a better option.
The facility of settlement loans is provided for economically unstable students who cannot afford to pay the huge monthly interests. However, there are several others who avail of this facility, attracted by the lucre of getting something for nothing.