Student loans are a special type of loan. You have less rights and more responsibility with student loans than what you have with, for example, a credit card balance.
Student loans don't go away easily, and it can be quite harmful to your credit (not to mention your financial and professional life) if you default on them.
However, there ARE several ways provided by the government that you can get a student loan CANCELED.(1) We're going to cover them today.
1. Military Service
If you have served in the military you may be able to cancel all or part of your student loans. According to the U.S. Department of Education website, if you received a National Defense Student Loan you may be able to receive partial cancellation of your loan for your service in the armed forces.(1)
If you served a year in a "hostile fire" area, you may also qualify for partial loan cancellation.
2. Teaching in a school serving low income families
If you are a full time teacher in a school that serves students in low income families you may qualify for cancellation of all or part of your Stafford Loan or Perkins Loan. As of this writing, Stafford loan cancellation requires 5 years of full time teaching in schools serving low income families.
3. Special Education Teachers
If you teach children with disabilities you may qualify for cancellation of your Perkins Loan.
4. Teachers in fields where there are shortages.
If you teach in a field where there is a shortage of qualified teachers, you may qualify for loan cancellation. This varies by state and by what the state determines to be areas of shortages.
If you have become "totally and permanently" disabled, you may qualify for cancellation of your loans based on your disability.
If you are a veteran and you've been deemed "unemployable" as a result of a condition related to your military service, you may qualify for loan cancellation.
6. False Certification
If the school falsely certified your eligibility for a loan, the loan can be canceled.
There are several possibilities that could apply here. Basically, any misrepresentation on the part of the school regarding your ELGIBILITY FOR THE LOAN, in order to get you the loan, can give you the right to have the loan canceled.
Many schools are quite aggressive about getting students in the door with whatever "package" of loans required, and shortcuts are often taken in that process.
According to the U.S. Department of education website, loans canceled for this reason will not have any more payments owed, and any payments already made will be refunded, and any related adverse credit history will be deleted.
7. School Closing
If the school you were attending closed while you were in attendance, you may qualify for loan cancellation.
8. Identity Theft
If the loans were fraudulent because of identity theft your loans can be canceled based on the fraud.
9. Forged Signature
If your signature was forged on documents related to the loan, you may qualify for loan cancellation if you can provide evidence of the forgery.
In most cases bankruptcy will NOT result in the discharge of your student loans. However, if you are filing for bankruptcy and can prove that repaying the loans would cause "undue hardship", then you may be able to get the student loans canceled.
Even though this article is entitled "10 Ways It's Possible To Get Your Student Loans Canceled", we thought we should include number 11:
If you die, you are no longer obligated to pay your student loans.
We strongly discourage opting for this one.
Today we've covered 10 possible ways of getting student loans canceled. Note that these options and the requirements associated with them are subject to change. For the most up to date information on these options, visit the U.S. Department of Education Website.
An important note: The options for loan cancellation vary greatly depending on the loan type and individual circumstances. You may have more options that aren't covered here depending on your loans and your specific situation.