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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.

age of majority by state
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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