Can you file for bankruptcy on personal student loans?

UPDATED: Jun 9, 2009

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Can you file for bankruptcy on personal student loans?

I have about $110,00 in defaulted personal student loans and there is a cosigner on the account too. She only receives a social security check every month and I have no income right now except for a welfare check. Can I file for bankruptcy on these loans? And if so, does my cosigner have to file for bankruptcy as well?

Asked on June 9, 2009 under Bankruptcy Law, California


N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You can file for bankruptcy but the student loans will only be discharged if you can show that you and your dependents will suffer "undue hardship" if forced to pay back the loans.

Courts use different standards when determining what is "undue hardship."

The cosigner on your loans is also legally responsible for the loans. It is her choice as to whether she wants to file bankruptcy. If her only form of support is social security, it is unlikely that she would be pursued to pay back the loans. But she must consider the possibility that legal action may be taken against her.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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