Start My Answer

Do Student Loans Go Away After 7 Years? (2022 Guide)

George Simons | October 19, 2022

Summary: Even if the statute of limitations on your student debt has passed, the debt can still show up on your credit report for up to seven years. There is no statute of limitations on federal student loans, but private student loans have an average statute of limitations of six years. SoloSuit can help you respond to a student debt lawsuit.

If you took out student loans to pay for an undergraduate or graduate degree, you may have been surprised to discover that student loan debt impacts your credit and will appear on your credit report. Many people are surprised by this because of the notion that student loans are “good” debt, and that these debts are treated differently than credit card debt and personal loan debt.

Regardless of whether student loan debt is “good” or “bad,” it will impact your credit report.

Many consumers with student loan debt are curious about how long the debt stays on their credit report. For example, some people ask, “Will my student loan debt ever go away? Will it stop appearing on my credit report after seven years?” This article will answer these questions and share additional information about student loans.

Let's jump right in.

Do student loans ever go away?

Student loans don't just disappear with time—at least not on their own.

Student loans can stay with you longer than credit card debt and other loans. Private and federal student loans are not equal. Suppose you took out a Federal Direct Loan, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, or Federal Perkins Loans. In that case, you have some avenues for the debt to reduce or go away sooner.

Some employers, repayment plans, and repayment periods can qualify you for debt forgiveness. Some include:

  • Public service loan forgiveness (PSLF): Generally, if you work for the public service for ten years and stick to your income-driven repayment plan for 120 months, you may be forgiven the remainder of the debt. Public service employers include the federal government, the state, local and tribal governments, and some non-profit organizations. You can check the Student Aid website for specific qualifications.
  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness: There's an arrangement to forgive up to $17,500 in debt for qualifying teachers who teach qualifying subjects at qualifying schools. You should have taught full-time for five years in a low-income education service agency, secondary, or elementary school to be eligible. Typically, you can't qualify for Teacher Loan Forgiveness and PSLF during the same period.
  • Closed School Discharge: If you enrolled in an institution that closed its operations shortly after you withdrew or were still a student, you might qualify for debt forgiveness. You may find qualifying loans and instructions here.

See this Student Aid summary for other situations where your federal student loan can be discharged or forgiven. You're probably thinking about the new student loan forgiveness program proposed by the Biden administration. Below, we explain how it works.

Respond to a student loan debt collection lawsuit in just 15 minutes.

How does Biden's student loan forgiveness plan work?

In August 2022, President Joe Biden announced that student loan borrowers would have up to $20,000 of their student debt forgiven. This forgiveness plan only applies to the following types of borrowers:

  • Only federal student loan borrowers will benefit from the plan. Private loans will not be forgiven as a part of the new program.
  • Only borrowers that make less than $125,000 a year, and married couples or heads of households that make less than $250,000 a year will be automatically eligible for $10,000 of debt forgiveness. The income threshold will pull from 2020 or 2021 tax years.
  • If a borrower meets the qualifications above and also received a Pell Grant during enrollment, they will be eligible for up to $20,000 in student debt forgiveness.

That being said, in order to qualify for the forgiveness plan, borrowers must apply to the program and prove eligibility. The debt won't automatically be forgiven.

How long will an unpaid student loan stay on my credit report?

Private and federal student loans will likely appear on your credit report with each of the “Big 3” credit companies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. A “trade line” will appear on your credit report for each loan you took. A trade line is essentially a summary of a particular type of debt. So, for example, if you have multiple private and public student loans, each loan will have a trade line on your credit report. The trade line typically highlights the following info:

  • Total balance owed
  • Your payment history
  • The origination date of the loan
  • The company reporting the debt

Typically, a defaulted debt, including student loan debt, will be taken off your credit report 7 years from the date of the first missed payment. However, it is essential to understand that the 7 year period applies to federal student loans from the date of default OR from the date the loan was transferred from the guarantor of a Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) to the Department of Education. In contrast, if you defaulted on a private student loan, it will remain on your credit report for 7.5 years.

This means if you took out, and subsequently defaulted on a Perkins loan, the tradeline will continue to show until the student loan is paid off, even after 7.5 years have elapsed. The only way to remove a Perkins loan from your credit report is to pay the loan off or to consolidate the debt with another loan.

Is there a statute of limitations for a debt appearing on your credit report?

This is a fairly common question highlighting the confusion associated with the term “statute of limitations.” The statute of limitations on student loan debt is the time period that a lender or debt collector has to sue someone for that debt. It is important to note that the time limit to file a lawsuit and the time associated with a debt appearing on a credit report are unrelated.

In other words, when the statute of limitations on a student loan expires, the borrower can no longer be sued for this debt. However, it does not mean a debt will be, or should be, removed from their credit report.

So what is the statute of limitations on student loans? Keep reading to find out.

The statute of limitations on student loans varies by state

First of all, you should know that public loans (i.e., loans disbursed and managed through the federal government) are not subject to a statute of limitations. If you take out a federal student loan, the government can come after you for decades. This means that federal student loan borrowers can be sued at any time for their debt. The government can also take other actions to collect the debt owed, such as wage garnishment or seizing tax returns.

Private student loans are different.

Private student loans are, in fact, subject to a statute of limitations. The applicable limitations period will be determined by either the state in which you reside or the state that controls the loan agreement. That being said, the statute of limitations on private student loans ranges from three to 10 years, but on average, it's six years.

Keep in mind that, even if the statute of limitations on your student loans has passed, lenders and collectors can still contact you about paying off the debt. However, they can no longer sue you for it.

How to deal with collection agencies

If you fail to make a student loan payment, or miss multiple payments, don't be surprised if a debt collector contacts you. Student loans receive virtually the same treatment as other loans when the borrower fails to make payments. Whether you have private or federal loans, they can end up with a debt collector. Still, there are important steps you can take to remedy the missed payments depending on the type of student loans you took out.

If you took out private student loans, there is no standard option or action to take when dealing with a collection agency aside from paying what is owed. However, you may be able to negotiate with the debt collector and try to establish a reasonable payment plan.

You should also know that a debt collector trying to collect payments on a private student loan generally are unable to:

  • Garnish your wages without a court order
  • Garnish your Social Security
  • Obtain your federal or state tax refund(s)
  • Block you from applying for and receiving government student loans to return to school

On the other hand, if you took out federal student loans, you may have additional options when dealing with a federal student loan collector. These options include:

  1. Rehabilitation: The debt collector will take your loans out of default status contingent upon making consecutive on-time payments. Generally, you can only rehabilitate a loan once. It is vital to successively make the payments on time since rehabilitation is the only way to remove the default notation from your credit history.
  2. Consolidation: When you consolidate your defaulted loans, you effectively pay off the default loan by taking out a new loan with new repayment terms.
  3. Repayment: This is the fastest and most efficient way to settle your outstanding student loan debt if you can afford to pay your defaulted federal loans back. Under some circumstances, your debt collector may be willing to waive some of the associated late fees and other collection expenses.

If you're being sued for a student loan debt, use SoloSuit to respond.

To learn more about how to respond to a debt lawsuit, check out this video:

Frequently asked questions about student loan debt collectors

Some consumers find that the debt increases after debt collectors take over. Here's why this may happen.

Can collection agencies charge more than you owe?

Yes, and no. When debt collectors acquire your debt, they must follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). According to this act, they may add collection fees and court costs to the original amount if the court allows. But they cannot arbitrarily ask you to pay more without documented proof of the collection fees.

Can collection agencies charge interest?

Yes. Debt collectors can legally charge interest on the debt even after it goes to collections. The interest rate should be similar to the one in the contract you signed with the original creditor. The agreement usually has a limit to how much interest can be applied. Different states cap the rates at specific amounts in cases with no stated maximum limits (as with medical bills).

Do I have to pay collection agency fees?

Unless you work out a repayment plan that forgives collection fees, you have no option but to pay. However, you can negotiate with the debt collector to lower the principal amount. Remember, they bought the debt for much lower than they are asking. The room to negotiate is expansive. But you can't force a debt collector to accept your offer.

How can you beat debt collectors?

It's always wise to ask for debt validation from every debt collector who contacts you. As you have seen, the amount of debt can change in the hands of debt collectors. Don't just take their word for it. Instead, request for verification by sending a Debt Validation Letter.

If a debt collector sues you, use SoloSuit's Answer to file a quick, professional response with the court. It takes only fifteen minutes to create your response with the SoloSuit web app.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

Respond with SoloSuit

"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James


Get Started


We have answers.
Join our community of over 40,000 people.

You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here for you.


Ask a Question


>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit. (We can help you in all 50 states.)

How to answer a summons for debt collection in your state

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.



Guides on how to beat every debt collector

Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.


Win against credit card companies

Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.

Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips

How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts

How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide

Get answers to these FAQs

Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.

Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?

How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?

What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?

Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?

SoloSuit FAQ

If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?

Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?

Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?

Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?

What is a default judgment?— What do I do?

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?

What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?

What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?

What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency

What is a Stipulated Judgment?

What is the Deadline for a Defendants Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?

Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?

Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?

Can I Stop Wage Garnishment?

Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?

Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?

Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?

Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide

Am I Responsible for My Spouses Medical Debt?

Should I Marry Someone With Debt?

Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?

What Is a Warrant in Debt?

How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?

Can an Eviction Be Reversed?

Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?

What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?

Does Student Debt Die With You?

Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?

How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?

How Long Does a Judgment Last?

Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?

Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?

Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?

The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?

Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?

Do I Need a Debt Negotiator?

What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?

Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?

Learn More With These Additional Resources:

Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.

How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide

How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney

How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know

How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)

Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector

Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency

Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.

Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit

New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt

Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors

The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah

West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt

What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained

Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector

How to Liquidate Debt

Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt

Youre Drowning in Debt — Heres How to Swim

Help! Im Being Sued by My Debt Collector

How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment

How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont

North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

ClearPoint Debt Management Review

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt

Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say

CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review

How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter

How to Appear in Court by Phone

How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands

Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next

How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement

Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Heres What to Do

How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection

Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt

Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa

How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court

Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review

How to Stop a Garnishment

Debt Eraser Review

Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?

Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?

How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?

How Long Does a Judgement Last?

​​How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?

How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court