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Ohio Statute of Limitations for Old Student Loan Debt. – Maria

Written by Steve Rhode

“Dear Steve,

Teacher in OH- took out a student loan for $7500.00 in 1981. I thought that a law came into effect years ago stating that if by 2003 ( I believe that was the last date) your student loan in oh was at least 20 years old , that the statute of limitations expired. My SL is now about 35 years old. I have in the last couple years received paperwork from yet another agency ( it has been bought and sold at least 10 times-) I can’t keep up with who is who and the amounts are all different, stating that I owe them 23k. This is showing in my credit reportand affecting my scores seriously. I have called the companies several times and even sent proof of my originial loan. They either respond that the loan is collectible or not respond at all.

Based on the sforementioned what should I do?

Thank you for all the advice and help you give to everyone.


College Tuition Expenses
Dear Maria,

I am not aware of any such regulation. However, if this is an Ohio rule then you should consult with a local attorney that is licensed to practice law in Ohio.

Is this a federal student loan and when was the last time you made any payments on the loan?

A quote in a 2012 Columbus Dispatch article continues to indicate there is no such statute of limitations on federal student loans.

If you think the student loan you took out years ago but never repaid won’t come back to haunt you, think again.

The debt could land you in federal court, pleading your case before a U.S. district judge.

“There’s no statute of limitations on student loans,” warned Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah F. Sanders. “That debt is growing, and you still owe it.”

Sanders handles the student-loan default cases that come through the U.S. attorney’s office for the southern half of Ohio. Her office is pursuing about 400 cases. – Source

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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About the author

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.


  • Hey Teacher in Ohio— since you’ve been teaching and making a reasonably good living in Ohio since the 1980’s, why wouldn’t you have already paid back your student loan? Now you’re wanting to totally eliminate it as you approach retirement age? Instead of looking for loopholes, how about facing up to your responsibilities that you signed off on years ago? I’m sure that is a lesson you teach your students, how about practicing what you preach?

  • Heard from collection agencies that student loans have no statute of limitations? They leave out an important part – that is only true for FEDERAL student loans.
    What is a statute of limitation? It is a law passed in your state that tells creditors they have a certain number of years to sue on debt. Without statutes of limitation, you would have to keep every receipt, every bank statement and every credit card statement for your entire life. Society simply could not exist without them. A statute of limitation on a written loan usually ranges from 3 to 10 years, depending on your state. This means that 3 to 10 years after your last payment on that loan, the lender must bring suit to enforce it otherwise you have an affirmative defense should you ever be sued in court. In other words – it becomes legally unenforceable.
    Then comes along the “student loan crisis” a few decades back when everyone was horrified that students were taking out billions in loans, become millionaires after college and then refusing to pay back their loans. Because of the exaggerated stories, Congress decided there should be no statute of limitations on these loans, and passed the appropriate law. Since Congress takes precedence over the state’s own law, any federal student loan has no statute of limitation today.
    But private student loans – loans offered by private banks and NOT federally insured – do NOT fall in this category. The collection agency will not tell you this. The lender will not tell you this ( SallieMae, Wells Fargo, TERI ) . You have to find this out yourself. How can you tell if it’s federal or not? Call the Department of Education and ask them. They will tell you every federally insured loan you have. Any loans they do not have in their system is a “private” loan and can become unenforceable after 3 to 10 years. And you can ask the DOE operator if statutes of limitations apply to loans not in their system – they’ll tell you they do.
    So why don’t collection agencies tell you this? Because there are hundreds of thousands of these loans in their systems that are “private” and unenforceable. If this knowledge was available to the public, they would lose millions in commissions that would otherwise be uncollected.

    • I agree. Hopefully you can get back to us with the answer to my question I asked in the post, “Is this a federal student loan and when was the last time you made any payments on the loan?”

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