I am an older student, have been on unemployment several times in the last 5 years, have not been employed full time for the last 3 years. I have a large amount of debt, especially student loan debt.
I am an “older student” and will be finishing my Bachelor’s degree this year, 43 years after high school graduation (yay!). I have a bit of student loan debt (about 60,000) and am in the deferment status, due to only working part-time. My question is, since I have not been able to gain full-time employment in the last 3-5 years, would I be able to eventually discharge this loan debt through bankruptcy (Chapter7)? I am 61, will be 62 later this year. Love your column!
Thank you for the pat on the back.
The bad news is that unemployment is not a reason that allows you to discharge student loans in bankruptcy. However, if you have a medical hardship, the chances are higher that a student loan discharge may be possible. See How to Really Discharge Your Student Loans in Bankruptcy. Many Can. But Never Try.
Hopefully these are government backed student loans. If you, you’ve got some good options to consolidate them and enroll in the income based repayment program.
See Student Loan Consolidation Opportunities and the Best Way to Lower Your Student Loan Payments for more details on what is available.
If these are private student loans then there are few options. You might just have to clear the decks of your other debt to be able to afford the payments.
Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.