Additional Loan Assistance Options
You may have additional options for your student loans in certain situations. Take a look below and let us know if we can help in any way.
If you find yourself falling behind on your financial obligations, bankruptcy may be an option. This may not eliminate your student loan debt, as student loans are rarely discharged during bankruptcy. If you have filed for or are currently in bankruptcy proceedings, your creditors are notified, including your student loan servicer, and an automatic stay begins. The automatic stay prohibits creditors from continuing with collection efforts during your bankruptcy case. If your student loans are not discharged in your bankruptcy case, the student loan servicer can resume collection efforts once the case is over. Bear in mind that interest will continue to accrue on your balance even during a pending bankruptcy, so the total amount you owe may be higher. Please consult with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options.
Remember, if you find yourself in a situation where you are considering filing bankruptcy, or if you are simply having trouble paying, we have many repayment plans to fit your budget and ways to postpone payments. Let us know if we can help.
If you are unable to work because of a total and permanent disability, you may be able to get a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge of your Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), Perkins Loans, Direct Loans, or Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant service obligation. For more information on how to apply for total and permanent disability, to learn more about eligibility requirements, or to check on the status of your application, please visit the TPD website at DisabilityDischarge.com.
For more information on how to apply for total and permanent disability or to check the status of your application you can sign up and create an account on DisabilityDischarge.com or call 888.303.7818 for assistance.
You can also visit StudentAid.ED.gov for more information on the TPD process.
Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers
This program was created to encourage growth in the teaching profession. Under this program, if you teach full time for five consecutive, complete academic years in certain schools or educational service agencies that serve low-income families, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 of student loan principal and interest.
After you have completed the five-year teaching requirement, you can apply with your student loan servicer using the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application.
Search for your school in the Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.
Get the full list of eligibility requirements for this forgiveness program at StudentAid.ED.gov.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
If you work in public service, you may qualify for forgiveness of your remaining federal student loan balance after making 120 qualifying payments while employed full time by certain public service employers.
Eligible loans include Direct Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized), Direct PLUS Loans (for parents and graduate or professional students), and Direct Consolidation Loans. Your required 120 payments must be made under the Income-Based Repayment Plan, Income-Contingent Repayment Plan, Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan, or the Standard Repayment Plan.
If you think you may be eligible, you may apply using the Public Service Loan Forgiveness application. Find out more about Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
In the event that a borrower or a student who is the dependent on a PLUS loan passes, the loan can be discharged without any further payments made on the loans. This can be done based on the receipt of an original or certified copy or photocopy of the borrower/student’s death certificate. If these are unavailable, alternative documentation may be used on a case-by-case basis.
Acceptable alternative documentation must include at least two of the following:
- Verification from an official of a county clerk’s office stating that the student/borrower is deceased, and that a death certificate could not be readily provided.
- Letter from a clergyman or funeral director.
- Death File Match: the SSA website for the death master file.
- Confirmation of death from a credit bureau.
- An announcement of death from a local newspaper containing enough information to verify that the announcement is referring to the student/borrower.
- Confirmation from the Social Security death registry.
Any payments made on the loan after the confirmed date of death are returned to the estate prior to the payment or write-off being applied.
If no proof of death is obtained, the loan resumes servicing at the same delinquency level it was at when notified.