Higher education is a wonderful step toward professional and personal growth, but those astronomical student loans can certainly do a number on you. Even after graduating and obtaining a solid job, repaying those loans can slowly chip away at your income. When you later buy your own home, have children, participate in hobbies, or travel, you may find those debts piling up, sinking you farther and farther down into a rabbit hole.
If only those student loans could go away, right?
This is one question we hear repeatedly: Can student loans be discharged through bankruptcy?
Discharging Student Loans Through Bankruptcy: The Long and Short of It
That’s the simple answer to the question about whether or not student loans can be discharged through bankruptcy.
Any bankruptcy filing requires you to prove hardship, but when it comes to the discharge of student loans, the burden is even greater. You must show “undue hardship” and have the documentation to prove it.
Although it’s very difficult, it’s not always impossible. According to a post on CreditKarma.com, 0.04 percent of people who filed for bankruptcy and sought to have their loans discharged did receive either a full or partial discharge of their student loans.
You should also be aware that if you do attempt to discharge the loans, you will go through more steps than you would with a basic Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
With the right attorney by your side, there’s always hope, whether it’s through an attempt to discharge student loans or through other avenues. Think of it like this: Even if you can’t discharge student loans, a bankruptcy filing may eliminate other debts, ultimately freeing your finances to enable you to repay them.
Aside from bankruptcy, additional options may include:
- lowering monthly payments by applying for an income-driven repayment plan
- deferment, during which you can temporarily stop making payments while possibly not being required to pay for the cost of interest that accrues during that time period
- forbearance, which allows for a postponement of payments for 12 months at time, after which you would have to pay the interest
If you are struggling to pay your student loans, speaking with an attorney now is a smart way to prevent further problems down the road. Call us today for a free consultation.