Does Death Discharge My Student Loan?

Does Death Discharge My Student Loan? - Tom Bible Law

Since death is such a serious event and something that people do not have full control over, many people wonder how this affects their finances and debts such as student loans. The answer depends on who passed away and what that deceased person’s relationship with the loan lender is. Whether student loans are discharged after death depends on the relationship with the lender and evidence of death. If you live in the state of Tennessee and your student loans have brought you to bankruptcy, consider talking with a Tennessee bankruptcy lawyer about your options.


Paying off student loans is no easy task when you or your family are low on money or have other financial responsibilities to balance. The monthly expenses of student loans can place a great financial strain on many college students who are seeking jobs right after college. This leads some students to worry about whether their families would be made responsible for paying off their loans if they pass away.

The good news is that student loan discharges automatically happen when the student borrowing the loan passes away. Your family will not have to worry about paying off your loans in this situation. However, this may change if your parents were the loan borrowers rather than yourself.

In a situation where your parents passed away and borrowed a PLUS loan, you will not have to pay back that loan. The PLUS loan will be discharged, and no one will have to pay this off. There is one thing you need to make sure of for each of these cases, evidence.

Without an original death certificate, you or the family member trying to discharge a student loan on account of death may not be able to do so. An original death certificate is required to discharge a student loan.


If death can automatically discharge a student loan, you might be wondering what else can do this. The two other types of student loan discharges can happen when a school shuts down or when a student becomes disabled. Not so fast, there are specific rules for each.

For you to have your loan discharged on account of a school shut down, the school must have shut down either when you were enrolled or very soon after you withdrew. When it comes to disability student loan discharges, you must have an acquired permanent disability that:

  • Is physical or mental
  • Will likely cause death
  • Lasts 60 months
  • Prevents you from working

You will need an official diagnosis and medical records from your doctor to support these claims. The loan lender may also require you to provide documentation of Social Security Disability benefits if you have those.


Consider asking us for help when you find yourself turning to bankruptcy as the only option left for your financial situation. Consider calling Tom Bible Law at (423) 690-7712 to speak with us about your financial crisis. Our experienced legal team of Tennessee bankruptcy attorneys is prepared to help. We are located throughout the Tennessee cities of Chattanooga and Tullahoma.

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