Generally, approval is needed from the bankruptcy court to take on any new debt in the form of a new federal or private student loan. This would include the filing of a refinance or even a consolidation application – as these are considered new loans.
ECMC, the guarantor of FFEL government backed loans, has a specific policy regarding regaining Title IV eligibility during a bankruptcy. Whether a borrower is in a Chapter 7 or 13, they are required to make six consecutive payments in order to regain Title IV eligibility.
If the student loan debt is not listed, or if it is listed in the bankruptcy, but the plan provides for 0% to be paid to general unsecured creditors, then the borrower is not considered to have established a “satisfactory repayment arrangement” through their bankruptcy plan.