NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– With graduation season ahead, student loans will add $100 billion to an already trillion dollar debt.

But for some there are ways to wipe out your debt completely, CBS2’s Emily Smith reported.

Jaqueline Ridberg, 22, graduated from New York University in December. She walked away with a degree in performing arts, along with student loans totaling about $65,000.

“It was about $250 a month for federal, but I got it down to zero through a federal loan forgiveness program,” Ridberg said.

She found the life-changing program through Credit Brain, a company that helps students consolidate or refinance their loans.

Co-founder Paul Baltrun told her she’s eligible to reduce her federal loan payment from $250 a month to zero, allowing her to focus instead on paying off her private loans. And it’s something anyone can apply for.

For example, if you’re making $60,000 to $70,000 a year and have on dependent you might be close to a zero dollar payment.

If Ridberg’s income improves, she will begin repayments based on a sliding scale. In twenty years, any outstanding debt will be forgiven through the Department of Education.

Financial expert Jordan Goodman say it’s a legitimate solution for anyone with student loans and a rocky career because you can’t get out of student loan debt.

“If you are owed a tax refund, the IRS will take it. They are brutal if you are behind and your credit score plummets,” Goodman said.

Since the government doles out federal loans and the forgiveness, who does it fall on?

“The government will borrow more money to pay for the amount that will be forgiven, which could be tens of billions of dollars in the coming years through this consolidation program,” Goodman said.

Ridberg hopes to get a job in her field with a focus on play-writing and screenwriting. In the meantime, she’s relieved to have found the federal loan forgiveness program while she gets on her feet.

If you prefer not to use a service and apply directly, you can access the loan forgiveness program for free by going to the Department of Education’s website.

 

 

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