In most cases, those in California and throughout the country who have student loan debt cannot discharge it in bankruptcy. This policy was put in place because of a fear that people would simply file for bankruptcy after getting their degree. However, there are exceptions to the rule for those who can pass the Brunner test. The Brunner test is invoked to determine if forcing a person to make student loan payments constitutes an undue hardship.
To pass the test, a person must show that making payments would not allow him or her to maintain a reasonable standard of living. Furthermore, it must be shown that this will be true for as long as payments must be made. Finally, a good faith effort must have been made to attempt to pay off a balance owed. In some cases, this means simply attempting to negotiate a payment plan that works for the debtor.