Student loans receive special treatment when it comes to statutes of limitations just like they receive special treatment in bankruptcy. The statute depends on the type of loan and may depend on the state you live in.
Federal Student Loans are not subject to a statute of limitations no matter what state you live in.
That means no matter how old or how delinquent the debt is, the federal government can sue to collect the debt.
Private student loans have a few more protections for borrowers.
In most states, private student loans are subject to the same statute of limitation rules as other types of consumer debt (e.g., credit card debt, medical debt).
This means that once your private student loan has passed a statute of limitations your lender can no longer sue you over the loan.
If they do attempt to sue you then you simply have to show the court that the statute of limitations prevents them from suing you over the debt.
Just because the statute passes does not mean they cannot try to collect on the debt and does not mean they have to remove the debt from your credit report.
A statute of limitations doesn’t eliminate the debt but prevents your lender from forcing you to pay the debt.
There may be some additional complications involved if your debt was incurred in a different state than where you currently live.
Some states will specify what happens when dealing with cross-state debts, but this is a question you should direct to an attorney to make sure you receive advice on the most current statutes.