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Can I Really Eliminate My Private Student Loans With Earnest in Bankruptcy?

By on November 6, 2018

Question:

Dear Steve,

I have good credit and was able to refinance my $180k student loans with a company called Earnest – a student loan refinance company.

Now that the student loans are with Earnest, can those loans be included in bankruptcy like any other loan or are they still protected from bankruptcy like typical federal student loans?

Scott

Answer:

Dear Scott,

If this loan has a new lender and your lender is Earnest then the answer is your loan might be discharged in bankruptcy. Let’s look at the results of some similar lenders like SoFi.

“Stipulation and Agreed Order by and between Attorney for Sofi Lending Corp. and Attorney for Matthew Duke; The Adversary Proceeding be, and hereby is discontinued with prejudice, without costs to either party as against the other. Sofi acknowledges that the debt owing by the Debtor to Sofi in the principal amount of $50,000.00 is not an educational loan and is subject to discharge pursuant to §523 of the Bankruptcy Code.”

Ultimately this will come down to two major points. The first is if the new Earnest loan is qualified as an educational loan. The second is if you have a knowledgeable attorney assisting you who can fight a good case.

On the Earnest website they even say, “If you file for bankruptcy, you may still be required to pay back this loan.” – Source

This seems to say the opposite as well. If you file bankruptcy you may not have to pay back the loan.

These situations are very dependent on the individual situation of each debtor.

If find a good local bankruptcy attorney and have a free discussion about what bankruptcy would mean for you. Bankruptcy is the fastest way to get a fresh start for the least amount of money.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

4 Comments

  1. Ryan Ismail

    November 8, 2018 at 11:31 am

    This is a fascinating take on the subject, but would someone really want to relinquish their ability to participate in Income Based Repayment for the uncertain chance that maybe they could file bankruptcy ?

    • Steve Rhode

      November 8, 2018 at 11:53 am

      Private student loans are not IBR eligible.

  2. Scott

    November 6, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Scott wants to know if he can eliminate his student loan in bankruptcy.

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