Section 523(a)(8) prohibits the discharge of qualified education loans unless “excepting such debt from discharge would impose an undue hardship on the debtor and the debtor’s dependents.” The Seventh Circuit has followed the Brunner test which requires a debtor to demonstrate the following:
- That the debtor cannot maintain, based on current income and expenses, a minimal standard of living for himself and his dependents if forced to repay the loans;
- That additional circumstances exist indicating that this state of affairs is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period of the student loans; and
- That the debtor has made good faith efforts to repay the loans. Matter of Roberson, 999 F.2d 1132 (7th Cir. 1993).
In order to win an undue hardship case, you would have to show that your current inability to pay the student loans is likely to persist for a significant portion of the educational loan period. In re Wilkinson-Bell, the Debtor was able to meet this standard because she was blind. In re Wilkinson-Bell, No. 03-80321, at *11, 2007 Bankr. Lexis 1052 (April 2, 2007).
If you cannot prove undue hardship you can visit the websites below to find out about obtaining relief from student loans outside of bankruptcy:
The information contained herein is for educational and informational purposes and is not legal advice.