The process is going to be slow and tedious. The economy is still struggling to rebound and many employers simply aren't hiring new workers. That's a bit of a catch-22 because more people are choosing to take out loans to pay for college degrees with the hope it will increase their job prospects at the exact time that companies are tightening their belts.
But there are some encouraging signs.
Unemployment has slowly ticked down. And even if Congress doesn't help the situation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has advocated making it easier for borrowers to refinance or modify loan agreements. There are also scholarship opportunities and resources for students to consult so they understand what they are getting into before they take out loans. It's more work, but it may well be worth it.
But ultimately it is going to come down to each borrower taking the time to consider whether they think their loans will be worth it in the end? Student debt is not necessarily a bad thing, and the return on the investment can be great. It's smart though, to know what you're getting into before you take the dive.
So, it is probably worthwhile to take out $20,000 in loans to pay for a computer science or engineering degree, for example. Those fields are hiring and pay is generally higher than average. An anthropology degree, on the other hand, may not be worth $50,000 in loans. That might be a hard truth for some would-be anthropology majors, but it's better to know before you're saddled with surmounting debt that contributes to a figure like $50.6 billion.