As a general rule, student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, student loans are not effected at all except that the lenders don’t take action against you during the brief time before your chapter 7 is completed, anywhere from about 6 to 18 months with most tending to be nearer the 6 months.
In Chapter 13 bankruptcies, your student loans are not discharged but since the lender takes no action while the case is pending, they are deferred for the length of the chapter 13, between three and five years. The Chapter 13 plan may provide that the student loans may share in distributions to unsecured creditors so that interest accruing is often paid and sometimes the principal amount owed is reduced during your chapter 13. In some cases, a preexisting agreement with the lender or even one made after the bankruptcy is filed may be honored by the court in your chapter 13. When the Chapter 13 is complete, the debtor may go to the student loan lender and advise them that the chapter 13 plan required them to pay all of the debtor’s disposable income monthly and since the chapter 13 is now over, the debtor would be able to pay a similar amount to the student loan creditor.
Rarely, after the bankruptcy is over and the discharge order entered, the debtor may apply for a hardship discharge of the student loans. This requires a showing of a major problem, usually a serious medical problem that prevents the debtor from making any substantial payments on the debtor’s student loan. Application for a hardship discharge is a separate action in bankruptcy court, not included in the basic bankruptcy case.