Defense of Infancy

Private student loans are subject to the defense of infancy. Federal student loans are not.

The defense of infancy argues that a minor does not have the legal capacity to enter into contracts, making loans to a minor unenforceable. Accordingly, private student loans require the borrower to have reached the age of majority, as listed in the chart below.

State Age of Majority
Indiana, Mississippi, New York and Puerto Rico 21
Alabama and Nebraska 19
Most other states 18

Federal student loans have not been subject to a defense of infancy since 1986.

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In order to qualify for private student loan refinancing, lenders require a strong credit score with proof of income and employment history. In some cases a cosigner may be required. Also, if you have adverse credit history, including a prior student loan default*, you may not be eligible. * Default = 270 days late/missed payment on a federal loan and typically 90 days late/missed payment on a private loan(contact your lender for exact definition of default).

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