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How Do I File Bankruptcy On My Private Student Loans? – Janita

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I have about 67,000 of private student loans to sallie mae. My mom is a cosigner on several loans and Im trying hard to keep them from garnshing her wages. I am currently unemployed. I can make some type of payment but cannot afford what sallie mae is asking for.

I was wondering can I filed bankruptcy on my private loans and if not what can you advise me to do?

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  • If you call Sallie Mae, they will offer you several options. You can defer payment for a span of time until you will have income to cover the repayment of these loans. However, the balance continues to accrue interest. They also offer reducing the payments for a period of time to help you out, but the term of the loan or the payments after the period of time is up will change, but they will tell you all of this.

    I don’t believe you can get school loans discharged. I have several for my sons, and even though I am permanently disabled, and not able to return to work, they still want my payment because I either took the loan for my son in my name for them or co-signed for one of the loans.

    I wish you and your mom the best and I hope all works out well for you. After I contacted Sallie Mae and the Federal Loan program I was able to get things worked out where I can at least manage.

  • Hi Janita. I also have lots of student loan debt. I don’t know if this will help but I just came across a website and found this article. Good Luck!!

    • I also have a heavy student loan load. I don’t know about private lenders specifically, but for the most part, student loan debt cannot be discharged.

      I consolidated through Direct Loan. I’ve been un/underemployed for three years and have been using a combination of unemployment deferment and forbearance options.

      Check out the IBR (Income Based Repayment) plan option. It wasn’t a viable option for me, but everyone’s circumstances are different.

      Call Direct Loan, talk to a representative, tell them everything and see what they say, then double-check that information elsewhere. Call Sallie Mae, ask about all of your options, and then double-check that.

      Take control of your situation, educate yourself. Research, because often lenders won’t tell you what you really need to know: e.g., my lender didn’t tell me about the IBR plan, a friend sent me an article on it, and when I called and asked about it, the rep sounded disappointed/irritated. Too bad.

      I hope this helps.

  • I would try calling Sallie Mae and see if they will work with you. Have you tried calling American Student Assistance? They would call every time I was late to see if they could help me out.

  • Contact Sallie Mae.  There are several options to defer payments on student loans based on unemployment, financial hardship, and in school deferment.  I too have a large student loan which I can not currently pay on.

  • One of my private student loans was sold to a debt collector, who worked out a re-payment plan that reduced my interest… you might have better luck trying to do this directly (I had no luck with this, and the repayment plan was still too high for me on a monthly basis, but it is worth a shot). You cannot consolidate private loans with federal ones, and it is extremely difficult to discharge them via bankruptcy without causing them to become your mother’s sole responsibility.

  • Janita,

    I think Laura has captured the essence of the issue and it is highly unlikely you could discharge the loans in bankruptcy. Unfortunately, the income based repayment plan she references is only available for federal loans. If your loans are private, as you state, it may not be possible for you to qualify for an IBR. To quote from the government web site:
    ..Stafford, PLUS and Consolidation Loans made under either the Direct Loan or FFEL Program are eligible for repayment under IBR, EXCEPT loans that are currently in default, parent PLUS Loans (PLUS Loans that were made to parent borrowers), or Consolidation Loans that repaid parent PLUS Loans.

    Sorry we don’t have better news.

  • i believe you can consolodate your sallie may loans with direct loans, which would allow you to go into the income based repayment plan. The IBR plan will set your payments at a managable level, you just have to submit tax documents to prove your financial situation.

  • you cannot discharge student loans unless you can prove that paying them would cause undue hardship, and that your situationis unlikely to improve. this is very hard to do. if you were able to succesfuly get these loans discharged in a bankrupcy, your mom would then become soley responsable for them, as she is a cosigner. 

    if your mom could not afford to repay them, she could try to discharge her responsability for them through bankrupcy, but unless she does that, she will remain liable.

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