Legal Articles

Can I Get My Student Loan Discharged or Cancelled?

Very likely, no. However, there are a few, unique circumstances under which you can get your federal loans discharged or completely forgiven where you don’t have to repay it anymore. The primary circumstances you could be eligible for a federal loan discharge are:


  • You becoming totally and permanently disabled. This is more than just a disability that makes it more difficult to work and is not as easy to get as one might hope. Fortunately, some people who are unable to work and may be relying on Veterans Affairs or Social Security disability benefits can seek this option.
  • You die. Not the option one hopes for! However, it is good for your parent to know that a Parent PLUS loan he or she signed for you is also forgiven if you pass on. In addition, if your parent dies with a Parent PLUS Loan outstanding, your parent’s loan is discharged.
  • You declare bankruptcy. Most of the time, you CANNOT discharge federal student loan debt in bankruptcy. However, sometimes you can show a hardship that will make it difficult to pay your student loans for a long time. You also have to show that you have been paying on your student loans for a long time, so you cannot immediately declare bankruptcy when you graduate in hopes of restarting your live in 7 years.
  • Your school falsely certified you as eligible to benefit from a program. If due to your age, mental or physical condition, criminal record, or another factor you cannot benefit from the training program, you were enrolled in, then you do not have to pay the loan. For example, if you were enrolled in a certified nursing assistant program and hoped to work in assisted living homes with the elderly, but had a sexual assault charge that would make you ineligible to do that, you could apply to get your student loans discharged. This type of bad behavior is more common in a for-profit school, see this article on for-profit school scams.
  • Your school or a third party requests a federal student loan without your knowledge. This is essentially being a victim of identity theft. When this happens, you cannot be expected to pay back the student loan as you didn’t use it or benefit from it.
  • You withdrew from school, but the school didn’t refund the federal student loan, if appropriate. Only the unpaid refund amount is discharged, which could be only a partial discharge.
  • Your school closes. Your federal student loans could be discharged if your school closes while you are attending or within about 4 months after you withdraw.


If you have been trying to get your student loan discharged and are running into roadblocks, call Debt Resolution Attorneys at 1-855-842-8500 for help.

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