Unfortunately, student loans never simply vanish. And, while student loans were at one time dischargeable in bankruptcy, that is no longer the case due to changes in federal law. It is pretty much a given that student loans will follow a borrower around until full repayment or death – whichever comes first.
Additionally, while the debt will always be there until paid, missed or late payments can have drastic, negative effects on your financial situation. Missed payments often result in a 6% late fee; the government can garnish a percentage of your wages and federal benefits; tax refunds will be snatched; and collections fees may be imposed. Not to mention the damage to your credit score.
The bottom line is that it is not worth it to ignore your student loan situation and pretend the debt will somehow go away. Take proactive steps to ensure your payments will be timely and if necessary, reach out to your lender(s) to arrange for a plan before trouble hits.