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Loan Dispute and Discharge
In certain circumstances, you can apply to have your remaining student loan debt reduced or discharged.
- You or the student benefitting from the loan (for PLUS loans) dies.
- You become totally and permanently disabled.
- Before you could complete your program of study, your school closed (pdf, 0.06 MB).
- Your school falsely signed your promissory note (pdf, 0.06 MB).
- Your school falsely certified your qualifying status (pdf, 0.06 MB).
- Your school certified your loan for coursework you could not benefit from (pdf, 0.09 MB).
- Someone was convicted of fraudulently taking out your loan (pdf, 0.09 MB). If your identity has been stolen, you should also fill out the FTC identity theft reporting form online.
- Your school owes your lender a refund (pdf, 0.3 MB).
- You work in certain public service professions.
- You file for bankruptcy. Keep in mind that, as a federal debt, federal student loans are typically not discharged via bankruptcy.
Applying for a Discharge
Applying for a discharge—and discharge provisions—differ depending on what type of loan you have.
- Perkins loan borrowers should contact the school that issued their loan.
- Borrowers with Stafford and PLUS loans issued through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) should contact their current loan holder.
- Direct Stafford and PLUS loan borrowers must contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center.
If you are applying to discharge loans due to a death, you must provide an original or certified copy of the death certificate to the school or appropriate agency. The U.S. Department of Education offers a complete list of discharge provisions.
If you don’t know what kind of loan you have—or who your current loan holder is—find out with the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
We Are on Your Side
Not sure who to contact about your eligibility for a discharge? Start with ASA®. Our Borrower Advocacy team specializes in dispute resolution. Also, when needed, our VP-level ombudsman can personally work with you to resolve difficulties surrounding your loan.