Student loans can be extremely stressful and exhausting. And if you want to qualify for student loan removal through bankruptcy, then you would have to prove undue hardship for student loans.
But what exactly does undue hardship mean?
Undue hardship is a situation in which a person may get exempted from a task that he was previously legally bound to do. These exemptions are to prevent any unfair or unaccommodating charges.
It can differ from person to person depending upon the strength of your case, and the method used by the specific court to analyze your case. It is important to remember that filing for bankruptcy has its disadvantages as well. This makes it extremely essential to carefully analyze your case and other related factors to avoid any problems in the near future.
We have combined the best ways to prove undue hardships and whether or not you should go for it. So, let’s get started.
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How Do I Prove Undue Hardship Student Loans?
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to prove the mental trauma and anxiety caused by your student loans. However, you can keep a few general points in your mind to prove undue hardship that can help you in strengthening your case. These points are commonly referred to as Brunner tests.
One thing that you should know here is that the Brunner test is not used by the majority of the courts but it still helps in guiding people about how to avail student loan forgiveness by strongly building their case.
How To Pass the Brunner Test?
The Brunner Test considers different factors to determine undue hardship. Everyone’s case is examined and judged based on individual data and information. Following are the 3 main points that you must include in your case to pass the Brunner test:
- Are you able to make payments and relish the basic standard of living?
- Are you facing any kind of financial crisis right now or have faced any in the past?
- Did you make enough efforts to make ends meet to pay your monthly bills before opting for the options of a bankruptcy filing?
Combine all kinds of proof that completely support your case for all the points mentioned above. If you think you are not enjoying a basic standard of living or going through a financial crisis or unable to pay your monthly bills then you have to prove it with valid proof materials like paychecks, utilities, bank statements, medical bills, etc. to make the court believe you.
In some cases, it turns out that the actual problem has not occurred due to the stress of student loans but because of poor financial decision making. Some students try to intentionally create hardships to save themselves from the repayment process. Hence, the court also evaluates your ability to manage your finances. This means you need to be really good at answering all questions related to finance management.
Private Student Loans Dischargeable
A common question that most private students have is about student loan forgiveness specific to private students only.
Here, the principles are the same no matter if you are a federal student or a private student. Just how student loans are the same for all students, debt is also a similar concept and a private student can easily file a petition if you are facing financial difficulties or are unable to pay your medical and utilities bills, etc.
There are certain limitations if we talk about the case where a student does not have enough money to pay even the minimum payments. In such a scenario, federal students are in benefit. They have more options to easily get rid of the loans by using multiple ways like income-driven repayment options, payment deferment, etc.
However, if you are a private student, then it is not easy for you to run away from your monthly payments as you do not have alternative options available. The only way to make private students loan dischargeable is by filing for bankruptcy.
Student Loan Hardship Application
If you are going through a financially difficult time and you feel that you will not be able to pay back your student loans then you should apply for a student loan hardship. Listed below are a few ways you can easily apply:
Ask For Cancellation
Contact your loan holder, share your financial problems with him, and ask for loan cancellation.
Use Valid Proofs
Fill the application for loan cancellation and support your documentation by providing proofs like utilities, medical bills, etc to justify your financial issues.
Apply For Deferment
Call your loan holder to request a deferment form if you think that your financial situation will become better soon and you can pay your bills on some later date. Deferment grants you student loan forgiveness by allowing you to miss your payments for a particular period until your condition gets better.
However, you need to have a good credit score and history to be eligible to use this option.
Apply For Forbearance
If you do not qualify for a deferment application then another method to help you is forbearance. It is easier to get accepted for forbearance application as compared to that of deferment.
You can also contact your loan holder to discuss your financial difficulties with him honestly and then politely ask him to grant you a forbearance letter.
Student Loan Forgiveness
In most cases, the court does not completely discharge student loans. They only find solutions to help you with repayments. However, the case varies from person to person as illustrated below using some examples:
Suppose there is a student who belongs to the 18 – 30 years old age bracket and is suffering from financial difficulties due to which he is unable to pay back his loans.
Let’s assume that the court accepts his proof that strongly justifies his financial crisis. Now, the court will not grant him freedom from all loan payments. it will offer him a solution to take support from federal programs like income-driven repayment plans to pay off his monthly installments.
If a 51 years old man with clear disabilities fills a student loan hardship application then he is more likely to qualify for the complete elimination of loans as he does not have time to change his financial condition and is more likely to stay poor for the remaining part of his life as well.
It is not an easy task to repay your student loans. However, if you can manage your finances efficiently, this would increase your credit score, and ultimately you will become a credible borrower.
But if you feel that your financial condition is getting worse by every passing day and it would not allow you to pay your bills on time then it is very important to understand how to prove undue hardships for student loans.
Just a final heads-up, there are very low chances of getting student loan forgiveness and high chances of alternate solutions to help you easily payback your monthly installments. So, you must keep all these points into consideration before making a final decision!