If you are poor or disabled, there are lots of good options for dealing with student loans.
You do not have to be on disability.
Here are some great stories from people who were able to create much better situations for themselves.
“I contacted the student loan company and told them my story. They asked me to send proof of my diagnosis along with a form (filled out by my doctor) stating I could no longer work. It took about 3 months, but my loans were all excused. They will recheck financial status for the next three years.” – DV
“I am not on disability, but I only work part time because of health issues. My government student loans were $300 per month. I signed up for income-based repayment and now they are $0 per month. The loans will be completely forgiven in seven years. I am planning ahead and spending some of my money now so I don’t run into any tax problems when that happens” – KF
“I was amazed to find out I could get a disability discharge even though I was working and I was not on disability. The guidelines said I was eligible as long as I earned below poverty level in my state. My doctor filled out the form and all my loans were discharged.” – KO
“I stopped paying my private student loans years ago. I was sick and had no income at that time. Now so many years have passed that the loans are expired. The zombie debt collectors still call me and even called my sister in another state, but we just hang up on them. I tell everyone: never talk to them or they will record you and use it to make your debt come back.” – NB
“My federal student loans have been totally and permanently discharged, pending a three year probationary period. I immediately started looking into tax consequences and found that insolvency form. As IRS forms go, it doesn’t look all that bad. I’ve confirmed that I won’t need to complete that until three years are up because technically it’s still Pending.” – EK
“My loans were dismissed due to total and permanent disability. If I recover in the next three years, the loans will magically reappear. After that they are gone forever.” – BB
“I applied last year to have them delete my student loans due to my disability. I was approved towards the end of last year. This is from both my undergrad and graduate degrees. I was very relieved. There is no way I can repay them on my disability income.” – AK
“Years ago when I was very ill, my doctor signed a form for me and all of my loans from law school were forgiven. Then years passed and I recovered and went back to work. My loans never came back, so I am not forced to go work at a big corporate law firm. I am able to work at a small nonprofit that does not pay a lot and I can spend my days fighting for the rights of people who are poor and disabled.” – BW
“I am not on disability, but I have chronic illness and can only work a little. I discharged all my debt in bankruptcy, except they would not let me discharge this one private student loan. The court did not garnish my paycheck because I live below the poverty line. They just let the loan stay there, but did not make me pay it. I wrote the loan company a “cease and desist” letter and told them to stop calling me. They stopped completely! Then one time I tried to call them, and they said they weren’t allowed to talk to me anymore because of my letter. I have three more years to go, then the debt from that loan will expire.” – LS
“I had my student loans dismissed. Yesterday I found an odd email in my inbox which I almost deleted because I thought it was junk mail: We have not yet received an annual employment earnings document. If you do not submit this, your loans will be reinstated. Yikes! I emailed them a signed, dated letter stating: “This is a letter confirming that I had no income – $00 – during the period of 01/01/2015 to 09/29/2016.” I printed out my simple letter, signed it, took a pic of it and then emailed that. Within a week I heard back that my “appeal was successful.” I have no assets, so taxes shouldn’t be a problem, but I am looking into filing the right form for this with the IRS this year.” – MC