Get Out of Debt Guy

They Tell Me My Parent PLUS Loans Are Not Eligible for Help

Posted January 28, 2015

Dear Steve,

My children were living with me when they filled out their FAFSA forms. I ended up with over $20,000 in Plus parent loans as a result even though my only income at the time was child support.

Can parent student loans (PLUS loans) be either transferred to the now adult children or be discharged in bankruptcy?

Being parent loans it seems I can not get income dependent payment plans and I fear if I have to default on these that my meager wages will be garnished and in a couple years my Social Security will be garnished also.


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Dear Chris,

Don't give up hope just yet. There is an excellent way to reduce Parent PLUS Loans, see The Best Way to Lower Parent PLUS Loan Payments. This sounds like the exact strategy that will allow you to get into an income based program.

While student loan servicers might have said you were not eligible for the Income Based Repayment Program, a consolidated Parent PLUS Loan is eligible for an Income Contingent Repayment Plan. They are very similar, but different.

There is no way to transfer the responsibility of a Parent PLUS Loan to a child or anyone else unless that person replaced the loan and paid off the old one.

But if you follow the advice in this article you will get the payment break you are looking for and best yet, prevent any future wage garnishment.

Steve Rhode
WRAL Get Out of Debt Guy

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About this Blog:

Steve Rhode has had careers in opthalmology, real estate and as the head of a nonprofit debt counseling firm. On his blog, he offers hard-won, free advice about getting out of debt, consolidation and making the right choices as you manage your money.