Loan Forgiveness Options

There may be certain situations where your federal student loan may be forgiven, canceled or discharged. Forgiveness, cancellation, and discharge of your loan means that you would no longer be expected to repay your loan.

You must repay your loans even if you don’t complete your education, can't find a job related to your program of study or are unhappy with the education you paid for with your loan. However, the Federal Student Aid website lists nine situations in which all, or some of the following types of loans may be forgiven, canceled or discharged: Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), and/or Perkins Loans.

The nine situations that might result in loan forgiveness, cancellation or discharge are:

  • 1. Closed School Discharge
  • 2. Total and Permanent Disability Discharge
  • 3. Death Discharge
  • 4. Discharge in Bankruptcy (in rare cases)
  • 5. False Certification of Student Eligibility or Unauthorized Payment Discharge
  • 6. Unpaid Refund Discharge
  • 7. Teacher Loan Forgiveness
  • 8. Public Service Loan Forgiveness
  • 9. Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge (includes Teacher Cancellations)

Details regarding qualifying for any of these situations, processes for pursuing forgiveness, cancellation or discharge as well as answers to common questions can be found on the Federal Student Aid website under Forgiveness, Cancellation, and Discharge.