How to Get Out of Student Loans

Learn how to get out of student loan legally and make loans cheaper with loan repayment options and loan forgiveness programs. Read different ways to discharge your loans. check this article for more information.

Updated by Gowtham Ramesh on 10th June 2019

If you are among the students who have borrowed a student loan and fighting to pay its monthly payments?  If the student loans are giving hard times to sleep in the night you are at the right place. Here are some solutions to your problems.

The student loans for the college is very high as it includes the interest on the loan and the extra fee which results in the long term repayment of debt. This becomes a major problem and some students end up in debts. We all think of a solution that will help us get out of the Debt, or to pay less to nothing.

Well, you are not the only person that feels burdened about loans. Many students are struggling to pay the loan debt after completing their education. The Department of Educational released a report statistics of 2017 revealing that 11.5% have defaulted their student loan which was taken in 2014. Which consists of a total number of 580,671 borrowers in that year.

Making a straight point you cannot come out an outstanding debt. You can get forgiveness and discharge the amount that you need to pay or there are other alternatives that you can make to pay your college fee. There are other sorts of programs which can give you offers such as loan cancelation or assistance for qualifying employment or other criteria required. Generally, they give away the remaining student loan bills in special circumstances.

Table of Contents

11 Best ways to get out of paying student loans

As we discussed above there are other options that can make the loans cheaper and easier through plans like income-driven repayment plans, Public Service loan forgiveness. The government allows various options to get away from the student loan debts. Some options are listed below that will help you get out of student loan debt without paying it fully.

1) Income-Driven Repayment Plans

2) Teachers Loan Forgiveness

3) Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

4) Student Loan Repayment assistance (LRAPs)

5) Get organized

6) Closed school discharge

7) Consolidation and refinance

8) Unpaid Refund Discharge

9) Total and Permanent Disability Discharge (TPD)

10) Death Discharge

Income-Driven Repayment Plans

After paying for a term of 20 to 25 years on an income-driven repayment plan the loans are eventually forgiven. The monthly repayment is lower because it sets per monthly payments depending on your discretionary income. The regular bills are capped at a certain percentage of 10% to 20% of the discretional incomes.

The payment duration is 20 years to 25 years. It may cost you more than what you have signed up in the initial period as its a long run due interest rate. the loan is forgiven after completing the repayment term.

The forgiven amount might get back to you in the form of taxable income. Where you will be still holding a final bill that needs to pay off to complete your student loan debt but it will be less than the forgiven amount.

Teachers Loan Forgiveness

If you are a teacher and owe a student loan you can go for the Teachers loan forgiveness program. $17,500 for a Direct  Loan or Stafford Loan Forgiveness. You will have to fulfill certain requirements to get the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program

1) You will have to be a full-time teacher.

2) Have to serve in alow-income school

3) Teach the unprivileged for a minimum of 5 years.

These are the eligibility criteria that a teacher must fulfill for the loan forgiveness program called the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

If you have worked in any public service for 10 years then you are considered for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Basic requirements for PSLF are:

You need to work for a minimum period of 10 years.

For at least 30 hours per week.

You also need to make at least 120 qualifying monthly payments under your income-driven repayment plan.

The PSLF is active now and it remains in action, for now, the road to getting it is not as easy as people think. In the last September, more than 41,000 applications were there for loan forgiveness but merely 206 has successfully got their loans discharged.

Student Loan Repayment assistance (LRAPs)

Student Loan Repayment Assistance programs are provided by state universities. It is for some of the qualified employers, not for all. It was primarily made for professionals in fields such as doctors, pharmacists, veterinarians, and teachers.

LARPs offers financial support after a period of 1/3 of service. Some universities also provide student loan assistance for alumni for the exchange of working at a non-profit in a highly needed area for a certain period.

11 Best ways to get out of student loans


Companies offer a student loan benefit for their employees included in the percentage of their monthly payments. Loans are also provided according to the area where they live and work. They can qualify for assistance and get help to pay off their student loans.

Get Organized

Getting organized is a good way to understand the credit condition. To get a clear idea about the college debts you owe, you can go to the National Student Loan Data System. To get all the information related to your federal student loan.

To get more clear on this you can have information about the Private student loans. You can also get a copy of it to have a clear and better understanding of your loans. Learn what the balance and interest rate means.

Find the ways to make payments more affordable or postpone to temporarily. Collecting the information can help you manage your credit history and will give a better understanding to handle your loans.

Closed School Discharge

If the school shuts down due to some reason before you finish your course, then your student loan debt is eligible for a closed school discharge. To qualify you must be pre-enrolled in the school before it gets closed or withdrawn from the school in less than 120 days before its closing.

If you didn't complete the course before the school closes and you don't need the diploma or certification then you are eligible for the discharge. If you need the certification it won't be considered for the discharge.

Consolidation and Refinance

Learn how the interest rates work on each of your loans. Know are there any lower rates available which can help you to save money. Try to negotiate the rate to lower down.

Consolidating is combining multiple loans into one single loan. It decreases the burden of dealing with several different loans and monthly payments. It bundles everything together and makes it one payment with a low-interest rate.

Refinancing is replacing a loan or multiple loans with a new loan with a low-interest rate as compared to the old loan. It reduces the monthly payment of your loan.

The interest rate allows more of your payment to pay down the principle. By consolidation of your student loans further refinancing can give you a lower interest rate with a decreased monthly payment or some times both.

Unpaid Refund Discharge

If you have a federal student loan then unpaid refund discharge will help you refund it

You are eligible for this discharge only if you fall into this criteria:

1) If you didn't attend school

2) If you have been withdrawn from the school.

3) If you were dismissed by the school

4) If the school is unable to loan funds to the lender.

The loan should have been borrowed after January 1, 1986. If you withdraw before reaching 60 percent point of the loan period, then you are eligible for the Unpaid Refund Discharge.

If you have withdrawn from school then the school might owe a refund to the U.S. Department of education or lender. If the school fails to refund then you might be eligible for a discharge although it will only cover the unpaid refund amount.

Total and Permanent Disability Discharge (TPD)

This may be eligible only for a set of people with certain criteria such as if you are a veteran with a record of service-connected to the disability. If you are receiving a Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income.

If you have a Medical condition preventing you from getting engaged in any of the substantial gainful activities for 60 months or the upcoming next 60 months or resulted in death is expected.

If you find the above criteria are related and you fit in, then you might be eligible for total and permanent Disability Discharge.

Make sure to check out on the terms and conditions before getting in.

Death Discharge

If you have a federal student loan and you die, it will be discharged. For the approval, the documents proofing the death should be submitted. If you have a Parent PLUS loan then it is discharged if you or your parents die. The loan is only discharged if the following documents are provided by the family members to prove your death. Anyone of these acceptable documents will work:

1) Original death certificate

2) Certified copy of the death certificate

3) photocopy of the death certificate

Get out of student loan Legally

Declaring bankruptcy in the case of student loans is not possible but under special circumstances, it may be considered such as Qualified undue hardship.

Before 1976 the loan is declared as bankruptcy when the court sees you struggling to pay them.

In 1998 they passed out 5 to 7 years of waiting period before declaring bankruptcy.

In 2005 they passed a bill to close all the possible ways to discharge of student loans through bankruptcy.

Lawyers help to get out of student loans

To be eligible for bankruptcy, you are required to file Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. You can go for a permanent discharge if you have a permanent disability which makes you from repaying of your loans. There are many states which provide you an additional aid to for bankruptcy. Hiring an attorney can help you in getting through and out of all the legal processes and further issues in the court.

It might not be a piece of good advice to go to a lawyer to get your loan from not paying your student loans. The legal fees Can be higher than what you are expecting which is not worth it.

Undue Hardship or Disability Discharge

Another legal way to get out of your student loan is to get proved of undue financial hardship. Where you will be evaluated by the court on the Brunner Test. If you can prove undue hardship by meeting the required Brunner Test qualification, you may be eligible for it.

The test will ask you whether are you able to maintain a basic standard of living while repaying your student loan or not. You can prove that undue hardship can last throughout the repayment term and if you have tried in good faith to repay your student loans before.

You can qualify for a student loan discharge without going to court if you have a permanent disability. Where it's still tough to apply for a permanent disability discharge. Filling out of forms and providing these to the Department of Education stating that you are not able to earn an income because of the disability.

Eligibility criteria:

  • You need an evaluation from a doctor

  • Evidence from the Veterans Affairs

  • Proof that you have got Social Security Disability Insurance.

  • You cannot apply for disability discharge until you are disabled for 60 months or more. Except if a doctor writes a letter stating that you are disabled and cannot work form at least 60 months.

Private student loans don't have the option to discharge the loans if you are permanently disabled. Discharge of federal student loans may be done with the disability from outside of the courtroom, which is not required in the case of private loans. Permanently disabled looking to get out of the loan from a private lender you will be going to the court of your lenders choice.

Make Loans Cheaper

The idea of discharging your loans might look and sound exhaustive as it's not at all feasible. Well looking into deep gives you other legal options to explore around which can make your loans more bearable. These alternatives can help you to manage your loans at an affordable rate without discharging them.

Federal student loans can get you Income-based repayment plan which might cap down your monthly payments from 10% to 20% of your income based on the eligibility of yours. It also has certain downgrades please look into it and do the necessary researches before getting into it.

You can also go for forbearance or deferment program. It allows you to hold your payments for a certain period where you are experiencing Financial hardship, the interest may accrue still with these plans.

Then there is student loan forgiveness where it forgives a certain part of your loan balances after a certain period of years.

Read different ways to discharge your loans

Source -

It holds certain eligibility to process the student loan forgiveness programs as it's been combined to work in the public sector. It provides forgiveness of loans generally after 10 years or 20 - 25 years. You have to pay tax for the amount that has been forgiven.

Another option that is available for your student loan with a more affordable rate is to refinance your student loan debts. Whereby refinancing all your debts where it can help you to get a lower rate of interest and possibility to get lower monthly payments

Refinancing from a private lender can also change the duration length of your student loans. The private lender can refinance both federal and private student loans. These might let you lose the perks and protections from the federal student loan such as income-based repayment plans.

Forgiveness and Discharge

ignoring of debt will make things tough and hard situation worse scenario of the case.  Going into default will make a host of situations creating bad consequences which could hurt your finances for a long period.

Avoiding debts can make things look much harder. You can look for legal ways to get it sorted and move from the student debt without giving all the repayment amount.

Forgiveness programs can also offer relief as student loan assistance by the university or employer.

Under special circumstances closed school disability then you might need to apply for a certain program to get your loans discharged. Make sure that you go through all the details of forgiveness or discharge program to be on the right lane for meeting the eligibility criteria.

Even though you cannot make it into any of the programs look for other ways to get done with student loans.

There some side hustles available out where you can get cash to get rid of debt faster and can save you money on the interest. Consider student loan refinancing to get a lower interest rate of your debts or get a lower monthly payment amount.


  What happens to student loans when you die?

According to the U.S.Department of Education in the case of any borrowed a federal student loan gets died then the loan amount is automatically canceled and the debt is being discharged by the government. But not in the case of private student loans they don't offer the same liability protection as per federal government does.

  Can student loans be paid off early?

yes, you can pay more than you are required a monthly payment there won't be any charge if you pay more. If you are very much interested in paying off the loan debt as soon as possible.

Work in advance and pay more than your usual monthly payment by paying off the loan as soon will help you in the long run as generally the interest gradually makes hard and take more than what was spoken when terms increase by this it can be avoided.

  Do your student loans get forgiven after 25 years?

Generally, it's eligible for the borrowers who have been qualified for student loan forgiveness on their balance after a period of 20 years through a specific income-driven repayment plan such as Pay As You Earn (PAYE). Where anyone who is eligible for a federal student loan might be qualified for the income-based repayment plan which also offers forgiveness after a certain period.

  Can you negotiate a payoff on a student loan?

The money is generated through the interest and fees that have been allocated further their perspective of getting their money that is you are setting your debts which is a huge change for them as you are paying off.

It will further make things easier by contacting your lender and on the instance without any hesitation if you feel bad or thing bad to call him then there is no possibility to negotiate your settlement. the best thing to do is pay off them with the balance as a full. it might not seem like a good move but trust that it will pay you off in the long run.

  How do I prove undue hardship for student loans?

The proof generally lies on you as you need to prove that undue hardship. To convenience the court and make it as a success to discharge of your loans with the required records and documents to show that you are unable to maintain it on a minimal standard of living while doing it.

  Can a lawyer help with student loans?

A lawyer will be helpful if you are doing any of the activity like dealing default or filling for bankruptcy, looking to apply for a disability discharge this all can be done with the help of a student lawyer.

Student loan lawyers can help with these like subtleties of private student loan any loan differences between them can be used here.

  What is considered an undue hardship?

Undue hardship requires a significant expense on consideration of a number of factors which can be of the cost of accommodation associated with the size, resource and the operation of the employer's

It is determined o various factors facility to make the accommodation of larger entity here the structure and other resources are also considered the financial management too.

  Can I get a student loan after filing chapter 7?

Bankruptcy might be qualified for certain student loans it will be a hefty process to get approved for other loans. Its mainly provided to the federal student loans under the Stafford and Perkins loans and provided only on the based on need and not on the creditworthiness. Filling a chapter Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy will not get anywhere between the federal loans.

  Do you inherit your spouse's student loan debt?

It is for certain cases where your spouse can also be responsible for student loans. All federal loans and private loans offer a death discharge once the borrower dies while some private lenders may not discharge the loan.

  How long does it take for a student loan to be wiped?

It takes around 30 years to wipe all of the remaining unpaid debts. You should either complete owing to the loan or either when you have successfully cleared the debt within the 30 years whichever comes first.