Is it possible to get rid of my student loan debt?

Back

Federal law allows specific categories of borrowers to get a discharge (cancellation) on their student loans. You must fit within one of the categories listed below:

  1. You did not have a high school diploma or GED at the time of enrollment. The student loan must be from 1986 or later.
  2. The school closed while you were enrolled or within 90 days of when you withdrew from the school. The student loan must be from 1986 or later.
  3. You did not complete the program, and the school did not properly return part of the loan to the lender. The student loan must be from 1986 or later.
  4. You had a status or condition at the time of enrollment that was a legal barrier to employment in the field. The student loan must be from 1986 or later.

    Examples include:

    • You were in a security guard program, but had a felony criminal record.
    • You were in a nursing assistant or custodial maintenance program, but you had a physical or mental disability that prevented you from working in those fields.
    • You did not have a high school diploma AND a high school diploma is necessary to take a license or certification exam that is required for the job.
  5. The borrower is now deceased or totally and permanently disabled.
  6. The borrower’s signature on the loan application was forged.

Next Steps

If you fit into one of these categories, you can begin the process of discharging your loan at the U.S. Department of Education website.

If you do not fall into one of these categories, you are not eligible for a discharge on your student loan. You must contact your lender to determine what options you have for payment. In circumstances of extreme financial hardship, a student loan may be discharged through bankruptcy.

Consumer
FAQs
photo
Looking to get involved with Legal Aid leadership?
Partners in Justice are community leaders who serve as Legal Aid ambassadors to their law firms. This year 23 firms are participating...

Read More

Learn how you can volunteer for Legal Aid.

photo
Profile: The C. Lyonel Jones Pro Bono Immigration Committee
Every case, you give a little bit because you're helping people through a daunting process. Stacy Cozart, Esq.

Read More

Learn more about immigration.

photo
Board Member Profile: Richard Panza
He cared - really cared about these kids and how the case came out, and worked hard to get a good resolution. Margaret Terry

Read More

Learn more about Legal Aid.

photo
Medical-Legal Partnerships: A Physician’s Perspective
It's about empowering the parents.

Read More

Learn more about Legal Aid's medical-legal partnership with MetroHealth.

  • photo1
  • photo1
  • photo1
  • photo1