Discover student loans are private student loans, which means they can’t be forgiven. Unlike the federal government, Discover doesn’t wipe out borrowers’ balances after they’ve worked full-time in public service for a decade, made monthly payments for 20+ years, went to a school shut down due to fraud, or suffered a mental or physical disability that’s left them unable to work.
The Education Department is the only lender that provides its borrowers with these student loan forgiveness programs. There is no way to refinance or consolidate your Discover student loans with the federal government to qualify for loan forgiveness — even if your loans were once federal, but you refinanced with a private lender.
There are only two ways to get rid of your student loans with Discover or to knock off some of the interest:
Negotiate a settlement
Both have drawbacks. For example, before settling, you must skip several monthly payments and eventually default. You and your cosigner’s credit scores will suffer, and your balance will grow. These are just a few of the consequences of defaulting on Discover student loans.
Related: Can You Negotiate a Student Loan Payoff?
Similarly, declaring bankruptcy will stain your credit history for years, and you must file a separate lawsuit, known as an adversary proceeding, to ask the judge to discharge your loans.
Related: Can You File Bankruptcy on Student Loans?