Many individuals who choose to attend college take out student loans in order to fund their education. In recent years, a struggling economy and high unemployment or underemployment rates have highlighted issues surrounding student loan debt. Today, it can be difficult for an average able-bodied individual to find employment and repay their student loans. For a disabled individual, the responsibility of repaying student loans can be nearly impossible.
If an individual with student loan debt becomes disabled, they may be able to petition to have at least a portion of their student loans forgiven. Individual lenders have varying policies related to disability loan forgiveness. Some lenders will forgive a certain portion or percentage while others may forgive the full amount.
In some cases, however, the lender may refuse to forgive any portion of the debt amount. If, for example, a parent co-signed for a student loan, some lenders may require the parent to assume financial responsibility for the entire loan amount.
An accident or illness can strike at any time and quickly render an individual permanently disabled. Disabled individuals who meet certain qualifying criteria may be able to receive social security disability benefits. Oftentimes individuals who become disabled due to an illness or accident are unable to work and have little to no financial means. For these individuals, SSD benefits are critical in providing for basic necessities such as food, clothing and housing.
Individuals who have student loan debt and have become disabled and unable to work may want to consult with a legal professional. A skilled social security disability attorney can provide valuable information related to applying for SSD benefits as well as advice on how to go about applying for loan forgiveness programs.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Lenders may forgive disabled borrowers' student loans," Liz Weston, Dec. 23, 2012