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Student Loans

Learn about student loans and how to deal with them. (Hint: you may have options you don’t know about.)

Student loan debt can be eliminated by bankruptcy but it is hard to do. If you need relief from your student loans, learn about all of your options.

This page is your home base for learning about how to deal with student loan debt with and without bankruptcy.

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Are Student Loans Listed On The Forms If They 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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Getting Financial Aid During And After A Bankruptcy (2021 Guide)

Filing bankruptcy does not prevent you from getting federal student loans or other types of federal financial aid. While some federal loans do require that you have good credit (which may take a little while to build after filing bankruptcy), others don’t depend on creditworthiness. Instead, they look at your financial need based on your current financial situation. 

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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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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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Timing Considerations If Student Loan Company Takes Your Tax Refund

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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Getting School Transcripts (When You Owe Money to the School)

If you owe the school money or you have defaulted on your student loans, it's common for schools to deny requests for your official academic transcripts. For many, this can be devastating. Without these transcripts, you may not be able to transfer to another school, attend graduate school, obtain a professional license, or qualify for some jobs. Keep reading to find out about your rights and options in this situation.

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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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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 I Discharge a Private Student Loan in Bankruptcy?

Private student loans are loans extended by private lenders that are not backed by the federal government. This article will cover the limited relief methods available for private student loans. The article will also discuss dischargeability challenges in a bankruptcy filing.

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What Is Total And Permanent Disability Discharge & How Do I Qualify?

Living with a chronic illness or serious injury is hard enough without having to worry about making payments on your student loans. Luckily, the federal government provides the option of canceling a student loan borrower’s federal student loan debt if the borrower is too sick to work. If you become disabled due to illness or injury, you may be eligible for the Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) discharge of your federal student loan debt.

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What Is Student Loan Forgiveness?

Forgiveness is the term when you do something that qualifies you to have your loan eliminated. Here's a summary of the different student loan forgiveness programs.

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Student Loan Discharge Due to Death

This article will focus on whether your federal student loan or private student loan discharges when you die. It will also answer the question of whether a cosigner or your spouse will be liable for your student loan debt. The tax consequences of a student loan debt discharged upon your death will be considered. Last, this article covers strategies to avoid financial difficulty for your family or cosigners after your death.

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Student Loan Deferment vs. Forbearance: What’s the Difference?

Deferments and forbearances provide temporary relief for student loan borrowers who can’t afford the payments on their federal student loans. When money is tight, you can use deferments and forbearances to temporarily pause your monthly student loan repayment until your financial situation improves. The key difference between a deferment and forbearance is the way the interest is treated.

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Student Loan Forgiveness Programs for Teachers

If you're an educator and you want part or all your federal student loans forgiven, the good news is that you have options. This article primarily focuses on the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. Since you do have the option to use other federal programs, it's important to understand how the Public Service Loans Forgiveness Program and the Perkins Loans Cancellation Program can help you. You, the borrower, need to understand these other programs to make a determination of which program is best for you.

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Student Loans and the Unpaid Refund Discharge

When you leave school early, the school should refund your tuition for the portion of the academic period you didn't attend. This is a very important discharge in the time of the coronavirus pandemic when many left school early in the academic period. This refund of loan funds goes to your student loan lender. This will reduce your loan balance and your monthly payments.

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Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge

Federal Perkins Loans are federal subsidized loans that were made to students with exceptional financial need. The federal government allocates the funds for these loans to participating schools. These loans were originated and are serviced by the schools themselves. Though there are many Perkins Loans still outstanding, the U.S. Department of Education stopped allowing new loans under this program after 9/30/2017. The final disbursements allowed were through 6/30/2018.

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False Certification Discharge

This article will go into more detail about each of these types of false certification loan discharges. A discharge ends your loan like a cancellation or loan forgiveness program. The difference is that student loan forgiveness usually refers to the loan ending due to a period of time served in a teaching or public service job whereas discharge is for some other reason.

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Closed School Discharge

If the school you're attending closes, are you, the borrower, still liable for the student loans you used to attend that school? The short answer is "yes." It's never that simple though. This article will look at the many considerations and actions to take should your school close, whether you will receive the automatic discharge, how the 2020 changes will affect closed school discharges, and the procedure to receive loan forgiveness.

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Public Service Loan Forgiveness for Student Loans

If you’re in public service and work for a government or a qualifying nonprofit, you may be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness of your federal student loans.

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Discharging Student Loans in Bankruptcy: Important Legal Terms

One of our goals this year is to publish a comprehensive guide on filing an adversary proceeding as part of a bankruptcy to discharge student loans. It will initially be published as a series of Learn Articles. The following is a guide to important legal terms that come up in adversary proceedings.

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Getting Details About Your Federal Student Loans

Student loan borrowers tend to end up with multiple federal student loans, which can make keeping track of it all quite difficult. The good news is that you can find all of your federal student loans in the National Student Loan Data System.

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Timeline of an Adversary Proceeding (An Overview)

One of our goals this year is to publish a comprehensive guide on filing an adversary proceeding as part of a bankruptcy to discharge student loans. It will initially be published as a series of Learn Articles. The following is one of the sections in the working draft of the Upsolve's Student Loan Adversary Proceeding ("SLAP") Guide.

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Evidence: What Is It And What Do I Use It For?

When you bring a court action, you have to support your position by showing evidence. Here's what that means for your student loan dischargeability action.

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Student Loan Default: What is it? What can I do about it?

You are not alone if you’re struggling to pay back student loans. Whether your loans are federal student loans or private student loans, there may be options to help you. You’re taking a good step in learning all you can about student loan repayment. A defaulted student loan is a serious matter. Read on to learn about what can happen with a defaulted student loan debt and how to get out of default.

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3 Important Facts About Student Loans & Garnishment

After 9 months of missed payments, your federal student loan will go into default, making a garnishment likely. For private student loans, default happens much sooner. Keep reading to learn three facts about student loan garnishment that could help you keep your take-home pay and tax refund.

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Can I Pay Off My Student Loans Early?

One commonly asked question is if college graduates should pay off their student loans early. The short answer to that question is, “it depends.” This article will examine the various factors to consider before paying off student loans early. And if repaying student loans ahead of schedule is the right thing for you, we’ll also discuss how you can go about doing this.

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What You Need to Know About the Pay As You Earn Student Loan Repayment Plan

Want to learn how to make your federal student loan payments more affordable? You might be able to reduce your monthly payment based on your income. Going into an income-driven repayment plan is a big decision and there are many factors to consider. This article will explain one type of income-based repayment plan, help you determine if you’re eligible, and give you some tips for deciding if the plan is right for you.

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Why You Should Change Your Student Loan Repayment Plan

After graduation, you're automatically placed on a 10-year standard monthly payment plan. You can choose to remain on this plan but you don't have to. There are a number of federal student loan repayment plans that are more affordable and make you eligible for loan forgiveness down the road.

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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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