Can I File For Bankruptcy on Student Loans?

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Student loans are a significant burden for many individuals, often overshadowing their financial lives for years. While bankruptcy is a route some consider to alleviate this weight, the process for student loans is more intricate than other types of debt.

Can You Discharge Student Loan Debt in Bankruptcy?

Yes, it’s technically possible to get student loans discharged through bankruptcy. However, the journey is filled with challenges that every debtor should be aware of.

Listing Your Student Loan Debt

When you file for bankruptcy, you’re required to list all your debts, which includes student loans. The pivotal question arises after this step: should you attempt to get these loans discharged? By default, student loans are exempted from automatic discharge in bankruptcy proceedings. The responsibility rests on the debtor to persuade the court of their need for relief from these loans.

The Adversary Proceeding

To seek discharge of your student loan debt, a distinct lawsuit called an adversary proceeding must be initiated. Though connected to the primary bankruptcy filing, this lawsuit is separate and gets its own case number. After its initiation, the student loan creditor needs to be formally served, starting a potential legal duel.

Proving Undue Hardship

One of the most substantial hurdles in attempting to file bankruptcy on student loans is proving “undue hardship.” This means demonstrating to the court not just the current inability to repay, but also the unlikelihood of ever being able to do so.

The Rigorous Standards for Discharge

To convince a judge that your student loan debts should be wiped out, you must present a compelling case that they’re excessively burdensome. This is no small feat and involves extensive documentation and argumentation.

Is Pursuing Bankruptcy for Student Loans Worth It?

Given the complexities and potential costs associated with trying to file bankruptcy on student loans, it’s essential to critically assess if it’s the right decision.

Evaluating the Feasibility and Cost

While there have been successful cases where student loans were discharged, the average debtor must be prepared for an uphill battle. Additionally, since this is a litigation process, costs can escalate. It’s crucial to consult with professionals who can gauge the viability of your case and advise accordingly.


In conclusion, while it’s possible to seek relief from student loan debt through bankruptcy, it’s a challenging endeavor. Debtors should be well-informed and prepared for a potentially taxing legal journey. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help and guide you through every step of the process.

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Jeffrey L. Wagoner


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