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Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

Who It’s For: People who are medically unable to work for the foreseeable future (at least five years).

How to Apply: You can apply online at

What Loans Qualify: Any federal student loan.

How Much?: This discharges the full remaining balance on your federal loans. The loans do not vanish immediately, however; they will usually be held in limbo for a few years after the discharge is approved, and if you start working again during that time (thus proving you are no longer fully disabled), the loans get reinstated.

Anything Else I Should Know?:  You will need to provide proof of disability – usually either a signed certificate from your doctor, or documentation that shows you qualify for certain disability benefits for at least five years’ time. Service-related disability can be proven through documentation from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). We have more details about this discharge here.