If you have federal government loans, the loans will be discharged at your death and your estate will not have to pay back those student loans. Survivors can apply for a death discharge to cancel a borrower’s federal student loans.

Parent PLUS loans may be discharged if the student for whom the parent received the loan dies.  Also, the death of both parents with a PLUS loan (assuming both took out the loan) is grounds for the death discharge. The death of only one of the two obligated parents does not cancel a PLUS loan.

There is no administrative discharge for private student loans if you die. Private loan debts will be handled the same way as other debts. That means that they will be part of your estate. This estate settlement process (also called probate) varies by state.  Some private lenders will use their discretion and agree to discharge loans when a borrower or co-borrower dies.

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