It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by student loans. As a Salt® student loan counselor, I talk to a lot of people who feel like this. And one thing they commonly ask me is, “What happens to this loan if I die? Will my family get stuck with these payments?”
So, let’s talk about what happens when you die.
(Just to your student loans. Don’t worry. I’m not going to bring up religion or philosophy.)
An Important Note
Debt can easily lead to depression. If you’re struggling financially and emotionally, as a result, please get help right away—and not just with your student loans. There are always options. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.TALK (8255) for support.
Death is right near the top of the list of things you’re not “supposed” to talk about, but being concerned about your family is reasonable and responsible—especially if you’re worried about leaving them with a lot of debt. And in this case, the reality is pretty reassuring.
Federal student loans are discharged when the borrower passes away. Your family, spouse, or estate would not be responsible for the remaining balance. (They would just need to provide a certified death certificate to the loan servicer.)
Private student loans are more complicated. Some lenders offer a death discharge. (Check your loan’s paperwork to see if you loan does.) Beyond that, it depends on whether you had a co-signer or co-borrower, where you live, whether you’re married, even when you got married.
But most often, your student loans will not outlive you. Hopefully, this will relieve some of your anxiety.
What questions do you have about death discharge for student loans? Sign up or log in with your Salt account to post them in the comments below.