A separate legal filing also is required to have a court consider the discharge of student loans. While you may meet an "undue hardship" standard for many other types of debt, student loans also must meet additional significant standards of hardship. For example the length of the hardship is important to be able to discharge student debts. The hardship must be long term in nature - like a disability that prevents work - that would prevent earning good income to meet a minimal living standard.
In most jurisdictions the bankruptcy court will use what is known as the "Brunner" test, which requires you to show:
- You cannot pay your student loans and maintain a minimal standard of living
- Your circumstances (often disability related) are such that the hardship is long-term and not within your control
- You have made good faith efforts to repay your student loans