Finding the right student loan lawyer is tricky. For starters, very few lawyers across the country focus purely on student loans. However, that doesn’t mean finding an attorney to take your student loan case is impossible.
In fact, recent policy changes have made it much easier to find a lawyer to help with your student loan issues.
The Historic Difficulty of Finding a Student Loan Lawyer
Until this year, finding a student loan attorney was often a massive struggle.
A primary reason for this problem is the fact that “student loan law” isn’t a discrete area of practice like criminal law or estate law.
Your student loan issue might require the services of a contract law specialist. You may need someone with expertise in consumer law. In the majority of cases, a bankruptcy attorney is needed.
Sadly, most bankruptcy attorneys refused to help with student loans. Between the way the law was written and the way the courts interpreted the law, a bankruptcy discharge was nearly impossible. Many attorneys considered pursuing this route a waste of their time and the client’s money.
Further Reading: Bankruptcy law with student loans moved slowly, but until last year, there was a cruel history that consistently made things worse for borrowers.
A Seismic Shift for Lawyers and Borrowers
In late 2023, the Department of Justice revised the internal policy for managing student loans in bankruptcy.
As a result of these significant changes, federal student loan borrowers have a much better shot of getting their student loans discharged in bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy attorneys have taken note, and now a far greater percentage are willing to take on student loan cases.
Critically, it means that if you call an attorney asking for student loan help, you are less likely to be shown the door. That attorney may take your case, or they may refer you to another attorney who can help.
Understanding Your Student Loan Issue
You don’t need a law degree to find the right lawyer. It is ok to call someone and learn that you called the wrong person.
Many lawyers are highly specialized, so it’s not unusual to call a handful before you find the right fit.
That said, a few different student loan circumstances may make one type of attorney a better starting point.
If a friend or family member isn’t holding up their end of things? Is your ex supposed to make student loan payments on a shared loan? Is your child not making payments on a loan you cosigned for?
These situations often require the help of a local attorney with a specialty in family law or contracts.
Did a bank or lender mislead you or lie? If you suspect fraud or illegal activity, an attorney specializing in consumer law is probably the best bet.
Is your loan unaffordable? If you are bombarded with collection calls or your wages are garnished, a bankruptcy attorney is probably the best bet. They can help you get your finances under control, sometimes without even filing for bankruptcy.
How to Find the Right Attorney
Some student loan issues deal with federal law. However, state laws often enter the equation.
For this reason, it is critical that you find someone local. Not only will it make communicating and meeting easier, but a local attorney should also have the state law expertise you need.
You can start by running a simple Google search for bankruptcy attorneys in your area or your state. Call or email them and explain that you need help with your student loans. If they can’t help, ask for a referral.
Sherpa Tip: If you have called local bankruptcy attorneys in the past and been rejected, don’t be afraid to call again.
The DOJ policy changes have caused a lot of bankruptcy attorneys to start helping student loan borrowers.
Getting Help with Your Search
In many states, the local or state bar association has a free attorney referral service. People who need legal representation can call the number.
The American Bar Association has a detailed directory of attorney referral services.
Because things are changing quickly with bankruptcy attorneys, it’s possible that you still might struggle to find someone able to help in your area. If that happens, feel free to send me an email. I may be able to direct you to someone in your state who handles student loans in bankruptcy.
19 thoughts on “How to Find a Student Loan Attorney or Bankruptcy Lawyer”
i really need help with my huge amount of student loan debt. my loans come to over $126,000!i cant pay this debt, i cant even do monthly payments which they said would be like over $3000 if i did pay. I’ve done deferments etc but my loans keep getting sold to different companies who in turn mess up paperwork and reactivate everything. it’s a real mess. i really need to bankrupt these off my credit report as they’re constantly holding back my life keeping me in a circle of poverty credit wise.there is such a lack of jobs here for anyone with degrees in history. is there a good student loan bankruptcy lawyer in Ohio?thanks
Something seems off about what they have put you through. At the bottom of the page is a link to send me an email. Hopefully we can find a payment plan that works for you because 1100 doesn’t sound right at all.
Great post really , it tells about the student loan and its processing.The steps that are involved in it are firstly Familiarize Yourself with Student Loan Bankruptcy Law secondly Explain Your Undue Hardship and lastly
Show That the Law is on Your Side.
Gladly that i came across with your article. Finding good attorney when handling your situation is hard for the others.
Great tips about student loan. I appreciate for the job well done of the author who shared this information to the public.
Yes I am in major debt with private student loans. There was a law firm called berges law group that said they would help to fight my debt. I’m a little worried it might be a scam or that I should find an attorney on a smaller scale. I just don’t know what to do and any advice would be great. I just know I can’t afford my loan payments
If you want a lawyer to pursue a discharge of your student loans in bankruptcy you will have to articulate why you will not be able to repay your student loans throughout the loan repayment period. In particular, bankruptcy lawyers want to hear about something outside of your control which is stopping you from making payments. For example, if you are disabled or have to care for a loved one which is preventing you from working, we want to hear about that.
Great tips! Thanks Adam.
Normally I can’t stand lawyers. They charge an arm and a leg. But sometimes we need legal help and having a lawyer fight for your rights is such a relief.
The cost of a lawyer can be very expensive… but the cost of not getting a lawyer can sometimes be even more expensive.
Hey Sherpa great content as usual but i just had one question. So it is possible to get student loan debt discharged? I am sure you know a lot more about student loans than I but I thought that even with bankruptcy it says and you have to pay. Has that been changed?
There have been no recent changes to the bankruptcy law. Getting student loans discharged is very difficult, but it is not impossible.
Thanks for the clarification!
No problem! I’m happy to help.
Very good guide, definitely helpful for student. With regards to #3 a due diligence can help in any case to understand the facts and analyze your own case better.
I agree Sam. Understanding your own case is important for any case, especially when it is something rather unique like a student loan case.