Updated: Jul 28
Student loan debt is an ever-increasing problem in the United States, with the total amount of student loan debt surpassing $1.7 trillion in 2021. The average borrower owes more than $30,000, and the debt burden has been shown to delay home ownership and other major life milestones.
Many people wonder when their student loans will be written off, but the answer is complex and depends on several factors. Federal student loans typically do not have a statute of limitations, meaning that they remain collectible indefinitely. However, there are some instances where student loans may be discharged, forgiven, or canceled.
One way that student loans can be forgiven is through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. As of September 2020, the program had forgiven $2.3 billion in student loan debt for 3,469 borrowers who worked in qualifying public service jobs. The program forgives the remaining balance on federal Direct Loans after the borrower makes 120 qualifying payments while working full-time for a qualifying employer. The program is available to borrowers who work in certain public service fields, including government, non-profit organizations, and education.
Another way that student loans can be discharged is through total and permanent disability discharge. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 59,621 borrowers received total and permanent disability discharges in fiscal year 2020, totaling $2.9 billion in student loan debt. Borrowers who have a severe and permanent disability that prevents them from working may be eligible for this discharge, which forgives their federal student loans.
It is also worth noting that some private student loans may have a statute of limitations, meaning that they can only be collected for a certain number of years after the borrower defaults. The length of the statute of limitations varies depending on the state and the terms of the loan.
There is no specific age at which student loans get written off. Federal student loans typically do not have a statute of limitations, and most borrowers will be required to repay their loans in full. However, there are some instances where student loans can be discharged, forgiven, or canceled. If you are struggling with student loan debt, it is essential to explore all of your options and speak with a qualified professional to determine the best course of action.