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Are you eligible to have your federal student loans forgiven?

One of the toughest lessons college students today learn is that education doesn't come cheap. In fact, the degree you pursued may be costing you money you don't have, and won't have for decades.

Student loan debt is one of the most common types of debt people in the U.S. carry. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most difficult debts to have forgiven or discharged. If you are one of the millions of people burdened by student loan debt, you should know whether you qualify to have these loans forgiven.

Most people are unable to have student loans discharged, even when they file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, unless doing so would result in an undue hardship.

This doesn't mean that it would be very difficult to repay debt or that you just can't afford it. It means that you have tried to repay the debt, but are in a situation so dire you would be unable to maintain a minimal standard of living if you had to repay the loan. And you would need to prove that the situation is expected to last a significant amount of time.

For example, if you are diagnosed with a condition that is severe enough to keep you from working and is not expected to improve any time soon, then you can be eligible to have your loans discharged. In fact, according to recent reports, more than 387,000 people in the U.S. are eligible for loan forgiveness due to disability.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, you can also have some or all of your student loans forgiven if you:

  • Work in certain jobs (like public service)
  • Serve in the military
  • Attend a school that closes while you are enrolled

Having student loan debt forgiven for any of the above-mentioned reasons can provide considerable relief to those who qualify. However, even if you are not eligible for this, you can still find relief in having other sources of debt discharged through bankruptcy filing. Without being required to pay other debts, it can be easier to pay off debts that remain after bankruptcy and get back on track.

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