Helping individuals obtain financial freedom through bankruptcy in
Lake, Porter, LaPorte, St. Joseph, Newton, Jasper,
Elkhart, Tippecanoe & Surrounding Counties.

Offering Free and Convenient
Telephone Consultations


Will Filing For Bankruptcy Forgive My Student Loan Debt Too?

Home |Blog |Bankruptcy |Will Filing For Bankruptcy Forgive My Student Loan Debt Too?

Looking For A Specific Post?



More than 43 million people in the United States have student loans, with an average of about $39,000 each in education debt. People take out these loans to achieve higher educational goals, but then they are saddled with this debt that they often cannot afford. 

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are often solutions to debt issues, but unfortunately, most people cannot get rid of their student loans as part of the bankruptcy process. Before you ever file a case, always discuss the nature of your debts – among many other factors – with an Indiana bankruptcy attorney.

Proving Undue Hardship

There are only a couple of ways that student loan debt might be dischargeable in bankruptcy, and the main exception is when a borrower can prove that paying back the student loan would cause undue hardship. You might think that – of course – making your payments is creating hardship, but there are specific legal tests to proving this in court. These include:

  • Brunner test – If you meet three factors, you can show undue hardship, which are living in poverty (being unable to maintain a basic standard of living on your income), your financial situation is expected to last for a significant time, and you made a good faith attempt to repay your loan. 
  • Totality of the circumstances test – The court reviews all relevant factors in your life to determine if your big picture warrants a finding of undue hardship from repayment. 
  • Other tests – Some courts might have other legal tests they use to find undue hardship, or other loans might have different standards. Your attorney can advise you how 

In order to even get the opportunity to prove undue hardship to try to discharge student loans, your lawyer will need to file for an adversary proceeding with the court. In the event your attorney can meet the standard for undue hardship, usually with the help of economic expert testimony, the court might decide that you can discharge your student loans in your bankruptcy case. 

Do You Have a Defense to Student Loan Repayment?

Some people might be able to raise legal defenses to avoid repayment of their student loan debt. Some defenses might include the following by a student loan company or school, particularly trade schools or vocational schools:

  • Breach of contract
  • Fraud
  • Deceptive or unfair business practices

If you can prove that a party engaged in wrongful conduct, the contract to repay the loan can be deemed unenforceable by a court, and you will no longer have to worry about proving undue hardship for a possible discharge. 

Speak with an Indiana Bankruptcy Lawyer About Your Student Loans

Even if your student loans are not dischargeable, bankruptcy might still help you if you have many other debts. Eliminating other payments can free up money that allows you to make your student loan payments easier moving forward. We can help at Whitten & Whitten, so please contact us today for more information.

Share Post: