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Is there any forgiveness for student grants available to a retiree?

asked 2015-03-13 05:15:42 -0800

kmom gravatar image

updated 2015-03-17 14:46:26 -0800

Nancy gravatar image

I went to grad school when I was 45.  I am now 66 and want to retire but still owe over $40,000 in student loans.  The forgiveness program started when it was too late for me to work enough years to qualify.  Is there any way to still get forgiveness on my loans?  I have faithfully paid on these loans but I really want to retire and don't want to be paying loans for the next 20 years on my retirement income.

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answered 2015-03-17 15:09:30 -0800

Marie gravatar image

Wow, kmom, I sure don't blame you for wanting to be out from under those loans!

As you probably know, there are few conditions under which student loans are totally forgiven -- regardless of what some ads may claim.  One of them is total and permanent disability, which your question/description of your situation does not indicate. Bankruptcy is described as being available only in rare cases. But one of those cases is when continuing to pay off the loans would represent a hardship for you and your family. You would have to prove that in bankruptcy court in an adversarial situation. You would also have to show that you have been diligently trying to pay off the loans, so it will in any case be very much in your favor that've been faithfully making payments all these years.

A few steps I would recommend:

  1. Get an appointment with your loan servicer to discuss what your options might be. Look at the different repayment plans that are available, especially those that are tied to your income. Since your income will probably be reduced in retirement, the resulting payments required could be considerably less than what you are paying now.
  2. Review the "Forgiveness, Cancellation, and Discharge Charts" available on the Federal Student Aid site. That section also lets you access the applications associated with each type of option. If it looks like you could qualify for any of them you might try filling out the application - or at least seeing what kind of information they require.
  3. There's also an article about grants to pay off student debt. I don't think there really are grants for this purpose but they have some really creative ways to pay off or pay down your debt -- including crowdfunding sites just for this purpose, worth a try!


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