If I have a defaulted student loan and I am a heart patient with a pacemaker, can I get it dismissed?

I have a defaulted student loan and I am a heart patient with a pacemaker. Can I get it dismissed? About 26 years ago I went to a security and technology school but the school never lived up to any of its obligations nor did we get what we paid for. The school was sued many times by other students and employees but I did not sue as I had no income to employ an attorney. I have suffered all these years as a result and have not been able to get another loan for education, home or any needs.

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Depending on the severity of your medical condition, you may have some options here. First of all, although student loan debts are generally non-dischargable in bankruptcy. However, if you can prove that repaying it would constitue a "severe hardship", you may be able to get your loan discharged. In deciding whether or not a genuine hardship exists, the court will consider your income/expenses, the reason for non-payment, how long this reason is likely to continue, and how hard you tried to make your payments in the past.  

An other option (depending on the type of student loan that you have) is to have your debt cancelled due to a disability or severe economic hardship. Even if you cannot cancel the entire loan, you may be able to rid yourself of a portion of it. For more information you can contact The Student Loan Borrower Assistance website at: www.studentloanborrowerassistance.org discusses conditions for the cancellation or deferment in more detail and how to apply for such a cancellation.  You can also contact your loan holder or the Federal Student Aid office at:  http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DCS/index.html) to determine if you qualify for cancellation.

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