If you applied for a student loan or financial aid during your last few years of high school, you may not have been 18 at the time that you signed for the student loan.
Many people who signed for a student loan before they turned 18 wonder if they are still responsible for the loan, simply because they were “minors” when they acquired the loan. The U.S. Department of Education and the Federal government have some strict rules and codes about who qualifies for a student loan, and what the terms of the loan agreement are.
Here’s what you need to know about signing a student loan as a minor:
Do I Owe a Student Loan If I Was Under 18 When I Signed for It?
The simple answer, is yes. You still owe the full balance of the outstanding loan, regardless of whether you were a minor or an adult when you signed for it. Student loans cannot be discharged or avoided just because of the borrower’s age. In most cases, this applies to all types of federal loans and many state laws also uphold this rule.
Reasons for Discharging a Student Loan
While you may not be eligible for a student loan discharge because of your age, there are some other reasons or circumstances that may lead to discharging of your student loan. The U.S. Department of Education reviews each case in detail and will need supporting documents to support your application for a student loan discharge.
If your student loan goes into default, for example, and you can prove that you are dealing with financial hardship and cannot realistically pay back the loan within a certain period of time, the U.S. Department of Education may choose to relieve you of your debts.
Remember that if you’re having difficulty paying back your loans, there are some ways to avoid the repercussions of a defaulted loan. You can set up a loan repayment arrangement with the Department of Education so that your payments become more affordable.
You may also be able to consolidate your loan through a loan consolidation program, or undergo a loan rehabilitation program. You will still be responsible for paying the full amount of your student loan under these programs, but the repayment plan may become much more affordable and will prevent your loan from going into default.