We recommend that you research all of the free government programs available to you and apply to the best one that fits your situation. Keep in mind that many government programs have monthly or yearly requirements that you must meet in order to stay in them.

Official Website for Federal Student Aid

Closed School Discharges Are Paused

A court has issued an injunction delaying the effective date of the latest regulations governing closed school discharges. As a result, at this time we are not processing applications for closed school discharges. If you have submitted an application, we will keep your application on file. We are reviewing the impact of the court’s action and will update this page with more information as soon as it is available.

If your school closes while you’re enrolled or soon after you withdraw, you may be eligible for discharge of your federal student loan. Loan discharge is the removal of your obligation to repay your loan under certain circumstances.

There are certain eligibility requirements to qualify for a closed school loan discharge; if the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has sufficient information to determine you qualify for a discharge, your loan will generally be automatically discharged one year after your school closes. However, you may always apply to get a discharge sooner if you qualify.

It’s important for you to obtain your academic and financial aid records if your school closes, since you might need those records if you plan to attend another school or want your student loans discharged.

Loan Discharge Criteria
You may be eligible for a full discharge of your William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, or Federal Perkins Loans received to attend a school if you were unable to complete your program of study because that school closed, and

you were enrolled when your school closed;

you were on an approved leave of absence when your school closed; or

your school closed within 180 days after you withdrew.

You are not eligible for discharge of your loans if your school closes and any of the following is true:

You graduated or completed your program at the closed school.
You withdrew more than 180 days before the school closed, unless you can demonstrate an exceptional circumstance.
You're completing or have graduated from a teach-out agreement at another school approved by the school’s accrediting agency and, if applicable, the school’s state authorizing agency.
You’re completing or have graduated from a program of study at a different branch or location of the school that closed.

Loan Discharge Process
If you meet the eligibility requirements for a discharge of loans you obtained to attend a school that closed, your loan holder will automatically send you an application you can submit to your loan servicer.

Or, you can contact your loan servicer directly about the application process for getting your loan discharged.

Be sure to continue to make payments on your loan while your discharge application is being processed.

Find out what happens if your loan discharge is approved.

Find out what happens if your loan discharge is denied.

Automatic Closed School Loan Discharge
If your school closes on or after July 1, 2023, and you meet the eligibility requirements for a closed school discharge of your loans obtained to attend the closed school, you will generally receive an automatic closed school discharge one year after the date ED establishes as the school’s official closure date. This discharge will be initiated by ED, and you will be notified by your loan servicer.

Although this closed school loan discharge is granted automatically after one year has passed since your school’s closure, you can always apply for and receive a closed school discharge as soon as your school’s official closure date is confirmed by the U.S. Department of Education. If you 1) attended a school that closed less than one year ago, 2) meet the eligibility requirements for a closed school discharge, and 3) want your loans discharged, contact your loan servicer about applying for a closed school discharge now instead of waiting for one year to receive an automatic closed school discharge.

List of Closed Schools
For a list of closed schools and additional guidance on next steps if your school has closed, visit Has Your School Closed? Here’s What to Do.

Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

You may qualify for a total and permanent disability discharge of your federal student loans and/or your Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant* service obligation if

you’re totally and permanently disabled, and

you have a Direct Loan, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loan, or Perkins Loan.

*TEACH Grant service obligations are discharged if the grant recipient dies, or if the recipient is subject to extended periods of qualifying military service.

Note for users who fill out the PDF form: The Department of Education strives to make all content accessible to everyone. While we work to ensure this document meets the standards of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, Federal Student Aid is working to create an accessible version. If you need access to this document before the accessible version is available, please contact the Information Technology Accessibility Program Help Desk at to help facilitate.

Apply Now for Disability Discharge

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