Stack of Dollars

How to Qualify for a Concordia University Student Debt Discharge

NEWS ALERT: On February 10th, 2020, Concordia University in Portland, Oregon announced that it would be cancelling classes and shutting down operations permanently, following the Spring 2020 semester.

Because the school has closed, anyone who was still attending and hadn’t yet completed graduation requirements for their program now has access to a Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program called the Closed School Student Loan Discharge Program.

The Closed School Discharge lets you completely eliminate all of your federal loans, and is an excellent option for anyone who doesn’t care about keeping the credits they earned at Concordia University.

This Guide will explain how to apply for a Closed School Discharge.

But Before I Explain How the Closed School Discharge Program Works…

Let me first give you some quick advice – if you DO want to keep your credits, which means that you’ll have to keep those student loans, then you may need to consider other options, like hiring an expert.

If you're truly struggling with student debt, then you should also consider paying a Student Loan Debt Relief Agency for help. Why? Because the people working at these companies deal with student loans all day, every day, and they're your best chance at figuring out how to get your loans back under control.

I've interviewed all sorts of debt relief agencies over the past 10 years, talking to all sorts of so-called "experts", and I can tell you that in all honesty I've only found two companies I trust to offer actual financial relief to people struggling with student loans.

For help with FEDERAL Student Loans: Call the Student Loan Relief Helpline at 1-888-906-3065. They will review your case, evaluate your options for switching repayment plans, consolidating your loans, or pursuing forgiveness benefits, then set you up to get rid of the debt as quickly as possible.

For help with PRIVATE Student Loans: Call McCarthy Law PLC at 1-877-317-0455. They will negotiate with your lender to settle your private loans for much less than you owe, then get you a new loan for the much lower, settled amount. NOTE: McCarthy Law can ONLY help with Private student loans.

If you do decide to call one of these companies and you have a bad experience with either of them, PLEASE make sure to come back and let me know about it in the Comments!

Who Qualifies for a Concordia University Closed School Discharge?

Based on the rules of the Closed School Discharge Program, you must not have completed all the coursework required for graduation by the time the school shut, and you have to have been actively enrolled (or on an approved Leave of Absence) within 120 days of the closure.

Since Concordia shut on February 10th, that means you would have had to still be an enrolled student as of October 13th, 2019.

One thing I want to reiterate is that these Closed School Discharges ONLY APPLY to Federal Student Loans (they won’t work for Private debt), but the great thing about them is that as long as you satisfy the eligibility conditions, you get approved and can eliminate your debt.

And that’s vastly super to some of the other Federal Student Loan Relief Programs on offer, like the Borrower’s Defense to Repayment Program, which requires convincing the Department of Education that your school committed fraud against you in order to receive forgiveness.

Conditions That Prevent a Closed School Discharge

Before I cover how to actually apply for the Closed School Discharge, let’s talk about issues that could prevent you from having your application approved, which include:

  • Withdrawing from courses MORE THAN 120 days before Concordia University closed
  • Attending a similar program at a different school, after transferring your Concordia University credits there
  • Completing all the coursework required for graduation BEFORE the school shut down (even if you never actually received your official diploma)

The credit transfer condition is the one that usually prevents people from getting a discharge, because most people don’t want to just surrender all the time and work they put into college courses, and that’s something we need to make crystal clear.

If you choose to take the Closed School Loan Discharge for Concordia University, then yes, your Federal student loans will be forgiven, but you will lose all the credits you earned from the school.

How to Apply for the Closed School Discharge

Fortunately, the Closed School Discharge application is simple and easy. Here’s how to apply:

  • Contact your Federal Student Loan Servicer and tell them that you want to apply for the Closed School Loan Discharge Program
  • Fill out whatever paperwork, forms, etc. the Servicing Company requires, and then simply wait for them to approve your discharge

If you don’t know who your Servicing Company is, see my Guide on Servicing Companies here.

Just make sure that you don’t stop paying your monthly student loan bills until after you’ve been told that your loans are officially forgiven!

State Tuition Recovery Fund Refunds

Closed School Discharges come from the Federal Government, but if you’re lucky, you may also be eligible to take advantage of another assistance program created to help students whose schools shut down, called State Tuition Recovery Refunds.

To find out if you’re eligible for a State Tuition Recovery Refund, you’ll need to get in touch with your state’s Postsecondary Education Agency.

This is the organization that sets the rules for higher education institutions in your state, who monitors their compliance for standards, enforces regulations, etc.

To find out who you need to contact, simply Google “YOURSTATE Postsecondary Education Agency”, then call or email the group that comes up to ask if you’re eligible for a State Tuition Recovery Refund.

Other Federal Student Loan Assistance Programs

If you do want to keep your credits from Concorida University, or if you don’t qualify for a Closed School Discharge, then don’t give up quite yet, because there are all sorts of other Federal student loan benefits programs that you may be able to take advantage of!

I’ve spent the past 10 years writing about these programs here at, so if you’ve got a few minutes to spend conducting research, then be sure to take a look at my Guides on the following topics, as you’re almost certain to find some form of financial relief.

To get Help with your Federal Student Loans, check out my Guides on:

And If You Need Help With Private Student Loans

Many students end up with BOTH Federal and Private student loans these days, and while the bad news is that there’s far less assistance available for Private debt, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get relief.

I’ve also written up Guides on all of the different Private student loan relief programs available, so make sure to take a look through them if you’ve got Private debt too.

For Help with your Private Student Loans, take a look at my Guides on:

If you have any other questions about student loans, please feel free post them in the Comments section below.

I’ll do my best to get you a response within 24 hours!

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The more people who visit FSLD, the more time I can dedicate to writing up Guides like this one and helping borrowers like you.

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Disclaimer:Information obtained from Forget Student Loan Debt is for educational purposes only. You should consult a licensed financial professional before making any financial decisions. This site receives some compensation through affiliate relationships. This site is not endorsed or affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education.


Tim's experience struggling with crushing student loan debt led him to create the website Forget Student Loan Debt in 2011, where he offers advice, tips and tricks for paying off student loans as quickly and affordably as possible.