Can I discharge my student loans through bankruptcy?

Student loan borrowers frequently want to know if they can discharge their student loans through bankruptcy. This is an important question that for some borrowers is worth exploring. The Bankruptcy Code limits the dischargeability of student loans. But as usual, there are exceptions.

Student loans can only be discharged if the bankruptcy court finds that repayment of the debt “will impose an undue hardship on the debtor and the debtor’s dependents”.

Florida is in the 11th circuit. The 11th circuit has adopted the three prong “Brunner” test which was set forth in Brunner v. New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (a second circuit decision). Under Brunner the debtor must prove three elements to discharge his or her student loans:


  • 1) He or she cannot maintain a minimal standard of living if forced to repay (both for debtor and dependents).


  • 2) The condition is likely to continue for a significant portion of the repayment period because of extenuating circumstances.


  • 3) He or she has made a good faith effort to repay the loans.


Obviously the law cannot be adequately described in a few short paragraphs. This is a very basic summary.

Because of the restrictions on dischargeability most borrowers are unable to discharge their student loans through bankruptcy. However, as always, there are exceptions to this general rule.


If you believe your circumstances qualify you for a bankruptcy discharge please call me so we can discuss this in further detail.   (904) 419-9858

Disclaimer:  The information on this website is provided for general information. It is incomplete and not intended as legal advice for any particular situation. Do not rely on the information contained on this website. Since every situation is different, you should consult with an attorney licensed in your state. I am licensed in Florida and Virginia.

Nothing on this website is intended as a prediction of outcome with respect to any particular situation. If you wish to retain me, please call me for a free initial consultation. There is no attorney-client relationship unless a retainer agreement is signed.