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Student Loan Resources

April 19, 2012

Your rights and obligations for repaying student loan debt will depend on whether you have federal or private student loans. Information about repaying federal loans, including obtaining a deferment or payment agreement, can be found on the U.S. Department of Education’s website. If you have a difficult problem, you can contact the office of the ombudsman set up by the U.S. Department of Education to help borrowers by submitting a question online on their website, or contacting the office at 877-557-2575,or by email.

Regarding discharge of student loan debt, loans received under programs authorized by Title IV, of the Higher Education Act can canceled for different circumstances including: (1) in the event of your death; (2) if you become totally and permanently disabled after the loan is disbursed, (3) if the school you attended improperly certified your ability to benefit from the training given, or (4) if the school you attended closed while you were in attendance or within 90 days after you withdrew from the school. A National Defense Student Loan can be canceled in 2 additional circumstances: (1) full-time teaching and (2) military service. An obligation to repay a loan may be discharged in bankruptcy in very limited circumstances. For more information click here.

Private loans operate differently. Borrowers should look to the terms of the agreement with the lender.

The National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project is a non-profit, comprehensive resource for borrowers, their families, and advocates representing student loan borrowers. This site is for people who already have student loans and want to know more about their options and rights.


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