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Student Loan Disputes (Option 2)

Use this information to dispute your current and defaulted student loans.

I believe I should not have to repay the student loan because:

  1. I am disabled
  2. The borrower is deceased
  3. The school I attended closed
  4. I did not complete the program
  5. I did not have a high school diploma/GED when I enrolled
  6. I was not yet 18 years old when I signed for the loan
  7. I was not able to benefit from the education I received
  8. The statute of limitation for collecting this loan has expired
  9. I only attended for a short period; Do I have to pay back the full amount

Up 1. I am disabled

A student loan can be discharged (forgiven) if either the borrower or the student for whose education the loan was borrowed is 100% totally and permanently disabled.  This means a physician (either an M.D. or a D.O.) will certify that the individual is unable to work in any capacity and will never be able to work. 

It is important to note that:

  • you may receive Social Security, VA or other disability benefits and still not meet the definition of 100% total and permanent disability
  • you may not have suffered from the disabling medical condition at the time the loan was borrowed, unless the condition has significantly deteriorated since then. (In other words, if the individual was already totally and permanently disabled when the loan was borrowed, it cannot be discharged for that reason).

What to Do:

If you believe you qualify for a disability discharge you must complete, and your doctor must sign, a discharge application form.  You can request this form by calling 1-800-621-3115 or from the agency that holds your loan, can Request a FREE Copy Here

Submit your completed form to:

U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 4222
Iowa City, IA  52244-4222

Note: To guard against fraud, the U.S. Department of Education will contact your doctor directly to confirm the nature and severity of your disability. Additionally, they may look for evidence that you are gainfully employed.


Up 2. The borrower is deceased

If the borrower of a student loan, or, in the case of a parent PLUS loan, the student for whose education the loan was borrowed dies, the loan can be discharged (forgiven).

What to Do:

Send an original or certified copy of the death certificate (must have the raised seal of the issuing records office) to the agency that holds the loan and to the:

U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 4222
Iowa City, IA  52244-4222


Up 3. The school I attended closed.

You may be eligible to have your loan discharged (forgiven), if you did not complete the program of study because the school closed while you were attending, or the school closed within ninety days after you withdrew from the school

What to Do:

Complete and submit a "Closed School Discharge Application" form to:

U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 4222
Iowa City, IA  52244-4222

Request this form from the agency that holds your loan, by calling 1-800-621-3115 or you can Request a FREE Copy Here


Up 4. I did not complete the program or I only attended for a short period of time.

If you did not complete the program, course of study or semester for which you borrowed the loan, you may be eligible to have the loan discharged (forgiven), or to have the amount you owe on the loan reduced. 

up are not always forgiven entirely in this circumstance because the school had to reserve a place for you and could not have offered that spot to another student after the semester already began.  Whether and how much your loan will be reduced depends on how long you attended and the policies of the school and/or the state in which that school operated.

What to Do:

Complete and submit an "Unpaid Tuition Refund Discharge Application" form to:

U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 4222
Iowa City, IA  52244-4222

Request this form from the agency that holds your loan, by calling 1-800-621-3115 or you can Request a FREE Copy Here


Up 5. I did not have a high school diploma/GED when I enrolled

If you did not have a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (G.E.D.) at the time you borrowed the loan, you may qualify to have the loan discharged (forgiven)--but not necessarily.  Not all courses of study require a high school diploma or G.E.D. (e.g., cosmetology or truck driving).  The school may have given you a test to see whether you were able to benefit from the education. 

What to Do:

Complete and submit a "False Certification of Ability to Benefit Discharge Application" form to:

U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 4222
Iowa City, IA  52244-4222

Request this form from the agency that holds your loan, by calling 1-800-621-3115 or you can Request a FREE Copy Here


Up 6. I was not able to benefit from the education I received

If you were unable to benefit from the education you received, you may be eligible to have the loan discharged (forgiven), depending on your circumstances.  

Your loan cannot be discharged because you were dissatisfied with the quality of the education you received, or because you failed to find employment in the field for which you received the education.  It is the borrower's responsibility to research the quality of the school before enrolling--though the government guarantees or issues the loan, that does not mean that the government guarantees the quality of the education offered.

If you were unable to benefit from the education because of some disqualifying condition, you may be eligible for discharge if the school wrongfully ignored this condition.  For example, if you attended a truck-driving school but did not have a driver's license and could not obtain one because you are legally blind, you may qualify for a discharge.

What to Do:

Complete and submit a "False Certification of Ability to Benefit Due to Disqualifying Condition Discharge Application" form to:

U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 4222
Iowa City, IA  52244-4222

Request this form from the agency that holds your loan, by calling 1-800-621-3115 or you can Request a FREE Copy Here


Up 7. I was not yet 18 years old when I signed for the loan

Student up are not dischargeable on the basis of the borrower's age, called the "Defense of Infancy" (per the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Higher Education Amendments of 1986, P.L. 99-498).


Up 8. The statute of limitation for collecting this loan has expired

There is no statute of limitation, regardless of the loan's age, for collecting Federal student up (per Section 484(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, 20 U.S.C. 1091a(a), as amended by the Higher Education Technical Amendments of 1991, P.L. 102-26, and the Higher Education Technical Amendments of 1992, P.L. 102-325)