How Do I Discharge and Cancel My Student Loans?
Is it ever possible to have my federal student loan discharged or canceled?
Yes, but only under rare circumstances. A discharge or cancellation releases you from all obligations to repay the loan.
Your loan cannot be discharged or canceled because you didn’t:
1. Complete the program of study at the school (unless you could not complete the program because the school closed),
2. Like the school or program of study, or
3. Obtain employment after completing the program of study.
What qualifies my loan for discharge?
Discharge refers to the cancellation of a loan, even one in Default,* due to school closure, false certification, your death or total and permanent disability.
What qualifies my loan for cancellation?
Cancellation or sometimes “forgiveness” of a loan is based on the borrower performing certain types of service such as teaching in a low-income school. A Defaulted* loan cannot be canceled based on qualifying service (e.g. teaching).
For a complete list of discharge and cancellation provisions for Perkins Loans and Stafford Loans, check the Perkins Loan Discharge and Cancellation Summary and Stafford and PLUS Loan
Discharge and Cancellation Summary.
How do I find out if I can get a discharge?
After reviewing the cancellation conditions, if you think you qualify, you must apply to the holder of your loan.
Federal Perkins Loans: Check with the school that made you the loan or with the school’s loan servicing agent.
Direct Stafford Loans: Contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-848-0979. TTY users can call 1-800-848-0983. Or, go to www.dl.ed.gov.
FFEL Stafford Loans: Contact your lender or its loan servicing agent.
Can parents and graduate and professional degree students with PLUS Loans ever have their loan discharged or canceled.
These rules apply to Stafford and PLUS Loans (for parents and graduate and professional degree students):
A PLUS Loan cannot be discharged because you or the student didn’t complete your program of study at your school (unless you or the student couldn’t complete the program because the school closed).
A PLUS Loan cannot be canceled because you or the student didn’t like the school or the program of study.
A PLUS Loan cannot be canceled because you or the student didn’t obtain employment after completing the program of study.