JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Cancellation/Discharge of Stafford Loans

Note that details provided on this page reference older loans made under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). All new federal student loans come directly from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Federal Direct Loans). For information regarding Federal Direct Loans, refer to the Loans page of ED's Federal Student Aid website or contact the college's financial aid office.

Your entire student loan, or a portion of your obligation, may be cancelled or discharged (forgiven) for several reasons. Contact your loan holder (lender) to obtain the forms needed to apply for loan cancellation based on the following conditions.

If you feel you might qualify for loan forgiveness for reasons other than those listed here, refer to the Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs page.

You may qualify for total or partial loan cancellation/discharge if:

  • The school closed within 90 days of your enrollment and you were unable to finish your program of study (School Closure)
  • The school did not properly qualify your status before you began studies (False Certification/Disqualifying Status)
  • You did not receive a refund that was due to you. (Unpaid Refund)
  • Your signature was forged (Unauthorized Signature/Unauthorized Payment)
  • The school did not properly evaluate your ability to benefit from the coursework before you began your studies (False Certification of Ability to Benefit)
  • You become totally and permanently disabled or die (Total and Permanent Disability)
  • Your loan is discharged due to bankruptcy (typically, student loans are not dischargeable in a bankruptcy). Consult your legal counsel
  • Your loan was falsely certified as a result of a crime of identity theft (administrative forbearance).

Click here for more information about any of these programs, including access to loan forgiveness and discharge forms.

Your loan cannot be discharged solely because you believe that the school:

  • Provided poor training or had unqualified instructors or inadequate equipment
  • Did not provide job placement or other services that it promised, or engaged in fraudulent activities (other than falsely certifying the loan)

Unable to Make Your Payments

If you are unable to make your monthly payments, contact your lender or loan holder immediately to avoid default by considering alternative repayment options. In addition to loan forgiveness, deferment or forbearance may be options, depending upon your circumstances.