Student Loan Debt

Student loan debt has become a larger source of debt for Americans than credit card debt.  The primary reason is because of the escalating cost of a college education. Students at Ohio State University borrow, on average, between $36,000 and $54,000 just to obtain a bachelor's degree.  Obtaining a graduate degree can be much more expensive. The average law school debt is more than $75,000 for a public school and about $125,000 for a private law school.

Unfortunately, student loans are very difficult to discharge in a bankruptcy. However, that does not mean that they are impossible to discharge, and it does not mean that bankruptcy is not a possible solution to your problems.

Cincinnati Bankruptcy and Student Loans

Cincinnati bankruptcy lawyer Eric Steiden and the team at Steiden Law Offices help Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky families grappling with student debt find a fresh start through bankruptcy. You took out student loans to get the education you knew you needed to obtain a bright future, and now that future looks bleak. Eric Steiden has helped many make it through these tough times in the past 25 years, even those with tough-to-discharge debt like student loans. Call Steiden Law Offices today at to set up a consultation to discuss your debt.

Steiden Law Offices has locations in Cincinnati, Covington and Florence, and serves clients throughout North Kentucky and South Ohio, including in Hamilton County, Kenton County and Boone County.

Information Center for Student Debt

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Student Debts Usually Not Dischargeable

Most debts can be discharged in a bankruptcy. A debt being discharged essentially means it has been erased. You no longer owe the creditor for the debt, and your creditor can no longer harass you or otherwise try to collect. This the prime reason for filing bankruptcy — to afford you a fresh start after you have been overwhelmed by debt, often debt you did not intentionally incur.

Student loans are different, though. Congress has passed a number of laws that make it nearly impossible for student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy, whether they are private or federal. 

There are some exceptions. In the Brunner vs. New York State Higher Education Services Corporation case, a federal appeals court ruled that a student loan could be discharged if it met certain circumstances causing an "undue hardship."

Under that ruling, an undue hardship means you cannot maintain a minimal standard of living while repaying the loan, that the state of affairs is likely to persist, and you have made a good faith effort to pay off the loan.

Few people will meet the stringent standards, and the court does not even necessarily have to follow the ruling. Your bankruptcy lawyer can review your circumstances and give you an honest assessment of your chances of getting student loans discharged, and make your case to the court.

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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Student Loans

Since most student loans cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may want to consider a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you pay back your debts on a court-ordered plan.

Your payments are determined by the plan, meaning they may be greatly reduced to a more manageable amount. Sallie Mae or whoever the creditor is also cannot come after you, seeking to collect.

You will still owe your student loans after coming out of bankruptcy, but your overall debt load will be greatly reduced.

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Helping Ohio and Kentucky Residents Overwhelmed With Student Debt

If you are drowning in student debt, bankruptcy may be an option to help you find relief. Cincinnati bankruptcy lawyer Eric Steiden assists people dealing with student loans and any other form of indebtedness at his offices in Cincinnati, Florence and Covington. Contact Steiden Law Offices today at to set up a consultation.

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