Refinancing 28 March 2023

Statute Of Limitations On Private Student Loans: A State-By-State Guide

State laws vary greatly when it comes to the statute of limitations on private student loans, so understanding the rules in your state is critical. This guide offers an overview of these regulations across all fifty states.

Statute of limitations on student loans

Private student loans are a huge financial burden for many, so understanding the statute of limitations on these loans can be an important step in managing them. State laws and regulations vary widely, so it is essential to understand what the law is in your specific state in order to ensure that you remain compliant with all applicable rules. This guide will provide a state-by-state overview of the statute of limitations for private student loans so that you’re in a better position to manage your financial obligations. 

What is the Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the period during which a creditor can legally sue a debtor for money owed. The length of this period varies based on the state you live in and the type of debt you have and in general, the time period usually ranges from three to six years for private student loan debts. Other factors that affect the statute of limitations on private student loans include the state in which the loan originated and the date of default. For example, some states provide an extended statute of limitations for certain types of private student loans like those taken out through a school or college. Additionally, in some states, the statute of limitations may be reset if the debtor makes a partial payment on the debt. For federal student loans though, there is no statute of limitations – this means that creditors can file suit any time after the federal loan goes into default.

Pros & Cons

Knowing the benefits and drawbacks of the statute of limitations on private student loans is important because it can help borrowers understand their rights and obligations regarding repayment. Take a look at the following:


The benefits include the following:

Protection from aggressive creditors

Knowing the statute of limitations in your state can protect debtors from creditors who are trying to illegally collect on old debts. Once a debt has reached the end of its statute of limitations, creditors generally cannot sue or take legal action against borrowers.

Negotiating repayment options

Being aware of the statute of limitations can also provide you as a borrower with more negotiating power when it comes to repayment. Once a debt has reached the end of its statute of limitations, creditors may be willing to negotiate better terms or accept a lesser amount than what was originally owed.

Debt forgiveness

In some cases, creditors may be willing to forgive the debt entirely once it has reached the end of its statute of limitations. This can be especially beneficial for borrowers who are unable to pay off their debt in full.


Here are the potential drawbacks associated with the statute of limitations.

Collection attempts

Even though creditors cannot take legal action against a debtor once a debt reaches its statute of limitations, they may still continue to attempt to collect the debt. This can be a nuisance for borrowers and may result in debt collectors calling or sending letters demanding payment.


Creditors may also continue to report any unpaid debt to credit bureaus after the statute of limitations has expired. This could have a negative effect on your credit score, making it difficult to obtain credit in the future.


In some states, creditors may be able to extend or “renew” the statute of limitations on private loans if they are able to contact the debtor and collect payment. This could result in the debt being collectible for an extended period of time.

How To Check The Statute Of Limitations On Private Student Loans

To determine the statute of limitations for a particular private student loan, begin by checking your state’s laws. You can find this information online or in your state’s statutes and regulations. Additionally, you should contact the creditor or lender of your loan to ask about the applicable statute of limitations. Finally, speak with an attorney who specializes in debt law for more information and guidance on how to proceed. We’ve provided an overview of the timeline per state below.

Statute of Limitations: State by State

Private student loan borrowers should be aware that the statute of limitations for their loans may vary by state. Generally, states impose different time frames during which debt collectors can sue to collect on private student loans. Find the time frame for your state below:

State (A–M)Statute of LimitationsState (M–W)Statute of Limitations
Alabama 6 yearsMontana8 years
Alaska 3 yearsNebraska5 years
Arizona 6 yearsNevada4 years
Arkansas5 yearsNew Hampshire3 years
California4 yearsNew Jersey6 years
Colorado6 yearsNew Mexico4 years
Connecticut6 yearsNew York6 years
Delaware3 yearsNorth Carolina3 years
Florida5 yearsNorth Dakota6 years
Georgia4 yearsOhio15 years
Hawaii6 yearsOklahoma5 years
Idaho5 yearsOregon6 years
Illinois10 yearsPennsylvania4 years
Indiana10 yearsRhode Island10 years
Iowa5 yearsSouth Carolina6 years
Kansas5 yearsSouth Dakota 3 years
Kentucky15 yearsTennessee6 years
Louisiana10 yearsTexas4 years
Maine6 yearsUtah4 years
Maryland3 yearsVermont6 years
Massachusetts6 yearsVirginia5 years
Michigan6 yearsWashington6 years
Minnesota6 yearsWest Virginia10 years
Mississippi3 yearsWisconsin6 years 
Missouri10 yearsWyoming8 years 

Statute of Limitations Expiration

When the statute of limitations expires, a creditor can no longer sue for payment on a debt. This does not mean that the debt is forgiven or discharged; rather, it means that you cannot be taken to court over it. You should be aware, however, that creditors may still attempt to collect on the debt through other means, such as phone calls or letters. Additionally, a creditor may also choose to renew the statute of limitations in the event that you make a partial payment or acknowledge the debt in writing.

Statute Extension Criteria

Generally, the criteria used to determine whether or not a statute of limitations can be extended is based on certain conditions. 

The most common criterion for extending the statute of limitations include: 

  • proof of payment being made to the lender
  • acknowledgment by the borrower indicating agreement with loan terms  
  • if a court has ordered the statute to be extended

Payment made to a lender can extend the statute of limitations if it is done in writing and involves a partial or full payment of the loan debt. Acknowledgment by the borrower indicates that they are aware of their agreement with the loan terms, thereby resetting the clock for the expiration date on their debt.  Lastly, if a court orders an extension of the statute of limitations, it may be done for equitable or other reasons. 


Here are some frequently asked questions. 

Do student loans get forgiven after 25 years?

No, only certain types of federal student loans are eligible for forgiveness after 25 years. Private student loans, on the other hand, don’t have this option available.

Can I remove student loans from my credit report?

Yes, if you pay off your private student loan in full and your lender updates your credit report, then the loan should be removed from your credit report.

How do I get rid of private student loan debt?

You can get rid of private student loan debt by making payments on time, negotiating with lenders for a lower interest rate or payment plan, or by consolidating multiple loans into one loan. You may also be able to have your loan forgiven if you qualify for certain programs or if you meet unique circumstances.

Final Thoughts

The statute of limitations on private student loans can vary significantly by state and by loan type, so it’s important to understand the laws in your particular state as well as any special provisions that may be applicable to your loan. Contact the creditor or lender of your student loan to ask about the statute of limitations and speak with an attorney who specializes in debt law if you need further guidance as this will help protect you against any legal action taken by creditors. By being proactive in understanding the applicable laws and your rights, you can take control of your financial future and stay on track with your student loan payments.