“I’m basically a third-world nation when it comes to my credit score,” Wierenga told The Times. “They put so much weight on these defaults, and they just plain trash you.”

Student loans defaulting can cause a mountain of stress. Last year, there was a story about Dirk Wierenga reported by The New York Times. Dirk had co-signed his son’s student loans. His son thought his future was bright and felt like he could handle the student loans coming out of college. Sadly, he ended up defaulting on these loans. Since Dirk Wierrenga had cosigned these loans the same fate his son faces is now chained to his financials as well.

Wierenga had his state tax refund confiscated to pay for the loans. His credit score took a massive hit after the default as well. “I’m basically a third-world nation when it comes to my credit score,” Wierenga told The Times. “They put so much weight on these defaults, and they just plain trash you.”

The worst part about defaulting on your student loans is even after they wreck your finances, it isn’t over. Unlike consumer debt, it is highly unlikely to have student loan debt erased, even in bankruptcy. This means the government will actually follow borrowers around their entire life until the student debt is paid off. Heather Jarvis, a student loan expert who advises people on how to manage their debt, told Vice “They can and do – literally do – pursue debtors to their graves.”

Defaulting on your loans should never be something a borrower goes through. There are options out there. To save yourself you can always apply for a forbearance or deferment to buy yourself some time. If you’re experiencing long-term hardship, you may want to look into income-driven repayment plans. No matter what your student loan needs, Ameritech Financial can help you. Ameritech Financial specializes in reducing monthly student loan payments and putting borrowers on track for student loan forgiveness.