If I’m in debt of approximately $100k in student loans and am trying my best in trying to repay but not making a dent, can I file bankruptcy?

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2014

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If I’m in debt of approximately $100k in student loans and am trying my best in trying to repay but not making a dent, can I file bankruptcy?

I can’t breathe. I’ve enrolled in income based programs to try to lower my payments but this is not making any dents and my loans are getting bigger and bigger.

Asked on September 15, 2014 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If these are government-backed or -insured student loans, then unfortunately bankruptcy will almost certainly not help you. Those types of student loans can only be discharged in bankruptcy if you can show "undue hardship." However, undue hardship is that due to paying the loans, you cannot even maintain a minimal standard of living; that is a very hard thing to show, since even living in a cramped, old apartment, eating ramen most nights, and taking public transportation instead of owning a car, *is* having a minimal standard of living. You essentially have to show that you can't afford food or a roof over your head due to the loans. Plus you have to show that this situation is likely to persist for some time--that is, that you have no reasonable prospects of getting more work or a better job. If you can't make this showing, you can't discharge the student loans in bankruptcy.

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