Defaulting on your student loans is a pretty scary situation. Defaulting happens when you go 270 days or more without making a payment on your loan. If you manage to do this, the entire balance of your loan will immediately come due. Your loan servicer will start nagging you to pay up. The lender may even sue you. But don’t panic. It’s not the end of the world. There are ways to get out of this situation. You may even be able to go back to school.

Can You Go Back to School with Defaulted Student Loans?

This idea sounds impossible. You must be wondering, “Can you go back to school with defaulted student loans?” The answer is both yes and no. You can’t go back to school while your loan is in default and receive financial aid. It’s possible to go back to school, but you would have to pay completely out of pocket. If you have enough money to pay on your own, that begs the question: "Why did you default in the first place?"

Your other option for going back to school is to get out of default. While you can’t go back to school while your loans are in default, once you have cleared up the situation, and you have paid for your loans for a certain period of time, you will once again be eligible to receive financial aid.

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Can you go back to school with defaulted student loans? Yes, but only after you clean up your default mess.

How to Go Back to School with Defaulted Student Loans

Figuring out how to go back to school with defaulted student loans may not seem easy. You have to get the money to pay for your education. Many predatory lenders will try to explain how to go back to school with defaulted student loans. Their answer will be to fold all of your loans into one of their higher interest rate loans. This will solve your problem but only temporarily. A better option is to find a steadier flow of cash and to limit your expenses to free up enough per month to start making payments again.

How to Get Student Loans Out of Default to Go Back to School

The best way to get student loans out of default and go back to school is to begin making payments again. There are three ways to get your loan out of default: pay your loans in full, enter a loan rehabilitation program or consolidate your loans with a private lender. Private lenders will try to tell you how to get student loans out of default to go back to school, but make sure you check their facts.

Your best option will probably be to rehabilitate your loan, which is much simpler than it sounds. You only need to make on-time payments for nine consecutive months to get out of default. Once you’re out of default, you’ll be able to borrow money again for financial aid.

About the Author

Rebecca Renner is a writer and editor out of South Florida. Her essays have been featured in the Washington Post, New York Magazine, and Glamour. She is working on a novel.