For anyone who has graduated from an institution of higher learning or at least attended one, you may have had to take out a student loan. As convenient as they may have been, one often doesn’t realize the full scoop of the debt they’re accruing until it’s time to pay it back. This generally begins a few months after one stops attending the institution, but can remain an issue for the following decades.
A large majority of individuals who took out student loans find themselves paying it off many years after their last day on campus. Along the way, the monthly student loan payment is accompanied by a mortgage, car payment, credit card bills, and multiple other streams of debt. When one finds themselves in a financial situation where they are unable to keep up with all demands, they often lean toward bankruptcy as a debt relief option, but can you discharge student loans in bankruptcy?
How to Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy
Discharging student loans is possible, but the only way to do so is to prove “undue hardship.” Undue hardship is interpreted differently from person to person, but to prove it, you must take part in the Brunner Test. This evaluation looks at several factors that can help support the claim of undue hardship. These include:
- Are your financial troubles short or long term?
- Have you made an honest effort to manage finances before filing for bankruptcy?
- Would you be able to maintain a minimal living standard if the loan is repaid?
The court also looks into if you’re pursuing bankruptcy in good faith, meaning that you tried to recover from your financial issues, but failed; in opposed to recklessly creating monetary problems. The courts don’t often agree to discharging federal student loans, but instead, suggest the implementation of a repayment program. However, those over 50, disabled or facing insurmountable financial issues have a greater chance of having their student loans discharged.
If you are still unsure of the possibility of having your student loans discharged, speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney at E. Orum Young Law Offices. Our attorneys can clarify any discrepancies and help you decide between the pursuit of Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Our Trial Guarantee ensures that we will take your case to trial per your request. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.