Student Loans

Articles dealing with student loans both in and out bankruptcy

Filing Bankruptcy to Deal With Your Student Loan Debt? Here are 5 Things You Should Know!

Everyone knows that it’s very hard to discharge student loans in bankruptcy. But that is not the same thing as saying that student loans can never be eliminated through a bankruptcy filing. Ultimately, it’s the bankruptcy court judge that makes the decision on whether someone should be able to eliminate their student loans through bankruptcy. Here are the five things you should know if you’re considering bankruptcy to deal with your student loan burden.

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Can You Pay Student Loans with A Credit Card?

If you are struggling to make payments, you can use balance transfer checks or an intermediary service to transfer student loan debt to credit cards. An intermediary service, such as Plastiq, makes payments to the loan provider on your behalf. Making student loan payments with a credit card may have some benefits, depending on the card terms. But doing so also carries some serious risks. U.S. Department of the Treasury regulations prohibit lenders of federal student loans from accepting credit card payments. Although there are ways to get around these regulations, the real question you should ask yourself is: *Is it worth it? *

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Why it can make sense to wait to file bankruptcy if your tax refund was taken by a student loan lender

There are not many creditors that can withhold, or set off, your tax refund before it ever hits your bank account. The most common instance of this is when the IRS keeps your refund and applies it to a prior year's balance owed. But that's not the only time this can happen. Another reason for the federal government to withhold all or a portion of your tax refund is if you're in default with federal student loans. Since student loans aren't automatically discharged in bankruptcy, this can be a blessing in disguise. However, timing matters, and depending on when your tax refund was taken by the government, you may be better off waiting a bit to file your bankruptcy case.

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Discharging student loans in bankruptcy: The Brunner Test

Under the current Bankruptcy Code, an individual cannot discharge student loans in bankruptcy unless retaining this type of student debt would cause undue hardship. To determine whether such a hardship exists, the bankruptcy courts conduct an analysis known as the Brunner test.

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Can non-government private student loans get discharged?

Unfortunately, Upsolve is not a good fit for anyone trying to discharge student loans. We suggest you contact an attorney.

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Should I include student loan debt on my forms even if it can't be erased?

Yes. You should include all your debts on your bankruptcy forms, even if some cannot be erased. 

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Can Upsolve help me get my student loans discharged?

Unfortunately, No. Upsolve can help debtors file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but we are unable to help debtors prove undue hardship. Your best option is to hire a lawyer or see if your state provides free legal services by calling 311 or finding your state's website here. 

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Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that started in 2016. Our mission is to help low-income families who cannot afford lawyers file bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. Spun out of Harvard Law School, our team includes lawyers, engineers, and judges. We have world-class funders that include the U.S. government, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and leading foundations. It's one of the greatest civil rights injustices of our time that low-income families can’t access their basic rights when they can’t afford to pay for help. Combining direct services and advocacy, we’re fighting this injustice.

To learn more, read why we started Upsolve in 2016, our reviews from past users, and our press coverage from places like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

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