- Student Loan FAQ - (FAQ)
- Student Loan Basics - (Basics)
- Student Loan Payment Options - (Payments)
- Student Loan Forgiveness and Cancellation - (Forgiveness)
  • Can I Discharge My Student Loans in Bankruptcy?
    Getting rid of student loans in bankruptcy is difficult -- but not always impossible. To succeed, you must convince the court that repaying your student loans would cause you "undue hardship."
  • Can I Get Forgiveness or Cancellation of My Student Loans in Ohio?
    Under certain circumstances, you can get your student loans wiped out. Your options depend on what kind of loans you have and when you took them out.
  • Student Loan Forgiveness Progams
    Did you work full time in a public service job for at least 10 years? Did you make payments on your direct student loan for that entire time? If so, you may be able to get ALL of your remaining student loan debt cancelled once you've made your 120th qualifying payment.
- Student Loan Default - (Default)
- Student Loan Problems - (Problems)
- Getting Help With Student Your Student Loan - (Help)
  • Tips for Finding and Working With Your Loan Servicer
    To make changes or resolve problems with a student loan, you must work with the loan "servicer." Sometimes, though, it's difficult to know who the servicer is. Here are tips on finding that information and getting results.
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How to Get Out of Student Loan Default

How to Get Out of Student Loan Default

What to do if you've defaulted on student loans, whether federal or private.
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What Happens If I Default on My Student Loans?
Ohio Student Loan Default Penalties

Updated: 2020-12-23 by

If you've defaulted on a student loan, how to get out of default depends on whether the loan is federal or private.

Getting Your Federal Student Loans Out of Default

Your options for getting your federal student loans out of default include:

  • repaying the loans
  • rehabilitating the loans, or
  • consolidating the loans.

Paying off your loans. This is the fastest (and usually the least expensive) way to clear your default. Of course, if you could just pay off the debt, you probably wouldn't be in default. Most borrowers in default can't afford this option and must consider loan rehabilitation or consolidation.

Rehabilitating your loans. Rehabilitation allows you to bring your loans into good standing by making a certain number of "reasonable and affordable" payments. You must set up this payment plan through the Department of Education, or through your school if you have a federal Perkins Loan. Rehabilitation will stop collection efforts and restore your eligibility for the benefits previously associated with your loan, such as deferment, forbearance, flexible payment plans, and ability to apply for additional federal student aid.

Consolidating your loans. After you have made an agreed-upon number of consecutive, voluntary, on-time payments, you may be able to combine your loans into just one loan with a low, fixed interest rate. 

To explore your options for getting your federal loans out of default, we recommend the Student Loan Debt Collection Assistant, an interactive tool published by the Department of Education and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. By answering just a few simple questions, you can find the best way to get current on your loans and the steps you need to take to do so.

Getting Your Private Student Loans Out of Default

Your private student loan may default if you miss just one or two payments -- or automatically, if you file bankruptcy or default on another loan. If your private loan is in default, there's no simple prescription for dealing with the lender or collection agency. But you may be able to negotiate a payment plan, or settle your debt for less than you currently owe. Contact your lender to try to work out a plan that's agreeable to both of you. 

The Student Loan Collection Assistant, discussed just above, provides information to help you navigate private loan default, too. It's a great place to start.

Learn More

For more details on federal student loan default, read the U.S. Department of Education's guide to getting out of default.

To find out more about the consequences of default, see "What Happens If I Default on My Student Loans?"

To learn how to deal with aggressive debt collectors, see "Unfair Student Loan Collection Practices: How to Fight Back."


What Happens If I Default on My Student Loans?
Ohio Student Loan Default Penalties

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