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I Heard All My Student Loans Are Forgiven When I Reach 50. Is That True?

“Dear Steve,

I finished university in 1993 Having secured a student loan for the three year period. When I graduated I never really had a job that paid a high enough salary to make any repayments on the loan.

Now some 20 years later I have been contacted by a debt company requesting payment of the loan! I am 57 years of age and I’m sure I read somewhere that before 1998 if you reached the age of 50 this debt was no longer payable?

Do I have to repay this loan?


Dear Roger,

Well there’s a new one for me.

Hopefully this was a private student loan. If so then the statute of limitations has sailed on the debt and it could be discharged in a consumer bankruptcy. Federal student loans are not subject to the statute of limitations.

I have never heard about a free pass on loans at 50. If that was the case you’d have loads of people jumping on that bandwagon.

However, it is getting more common to see very elderly people with student loan debt they took our decades before or cosigned for. Age alone is not a reason for forgiveness. Even people on Social Security can have their payments garnished for past due federal student loans.

More information would need to be known for a more specific answer. But for now, if this is a private student loan click here. And if this was a federal student loan, click here.

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

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About Steve Rhode

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.
  • Roger Farr

    Thank you very much for your response, I forgot to tell you that I am from the UK. The student loan was from the government, they have sold the student loan debts to private debt collectors see here: I am being harassed by the debt collectors threatening to take me to court etc. I have found this information on the internet at If you took out your loan before 1998. In this case the rules are rather complicated. If you were aged under 40 (I was 33)when you took out your last agreement for a student loan it will be cancelled when you reach 50. I do not earn £15,000 per year?

    • Steve Rhode


      You seem to answer your own questions. You are correct if you earn under £15,000, which is now raised, you have to make no payments. This threshold seems to be a bit grey as some sites state £16K, either way, if you are under the figure, no payments are required.

      Even if the loan(s) were sold to a private collector, to my knowledge they still have to agree to the original terms of the loan. The sale was just a way for the government to get some cash.

      Have you spoke to who contacted you and advised them of your situation? It may be they are contacting everyone.

      While the cancellation period is a bit grey as well, it may be you just need to advise those contacting you and all will be sorted.

      Let me know what you find out in speaking to them.



      • Roger Farr

        Thanks Steve for this, I’ll keep you informed!

        Subject: Re: New comment posted on I Heard All My Student Loans Are Forgiven When I Reach 50. Is That True?

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