My Father Lied to Me About Paying My Student Loans – Christina


Dear Steve,

When I was 18 (2011) my dad forced me to go to a community college but only online. (he is a controlling person who never let my sister or I outside the house). He told me that I needed to take out student loans to pay for college (on top of FAFSA).

I was homeschooled my whole life with no way of knowing anything regarding college. He said, that if I take them out and give him the money, he will make sure my phone bill was paid, and that when I graduated he would have stashed some of the money so I can buy a car. 2 years and 15k in student loans later he barely paid my phone bill. He bought himself a car, told me it was mine, then made me sign it back over to him for “insurance reasons”.

I ended having to go back to school (a school of my choice) to get a different associate for something I wanted to do. I took out 7600 in loans myself that I am 100% responsible for.

My dad doesn’t work, has never worked and basically uses people and takes their money. Well I am taking a break from school and will need to start paying the loans back in January.

My dad has also done this to my sister. both of our loans will need to start being paid back in January of 2017. My dad has already told my sister that “he can’t pay anything until he gets his insurance money,” which I know means, he won’t be paying up.

I don’t want to be responsible for loans I never really got to see. Especially since my dad said that if I take them out, he will pay them back 100% for my first two year degree. What can I do, that will make him legally responsible for these loans that he basically took out? I am at a loss and stressed, and tired.

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Dear Christina,

Wow, that’s a horrible story. I wish it was the first time I’ve heard something like that.

I think you’ve got a tough case to make that you would not be responsible for loans you took out based on the promises of your father. It doesn’t sound like you could even make the identity theft argument since you did take out the loans based on his promises.

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Make sure you are only taking out federal student loans from this point on. With those loans you have the option of consolidating them and opting for one of the income driven repayment programs to get the lowest monthly payment and keep you out of default. Talk to your federal student loan servicer about that option.

It sounds like you have some private student loans and for those there is little help that is as easily available. There are certain technical issues to examine about those loans to see if they might be eligible for a bankruptcy discharge argument or they have changed hands so many times the loans could not be validated.

Probably the only legal action you could take would be to sue your father but even if you won I seriously doubt you’d ever recover what you might be awarded. You’d need to talk to a lawyer who is licensed in your state to discuss any legal option.

If he did take out loans in your name then you could have an identity theft argument and I wonder if his new car might have a loan in your name on it. Otherwise, why would he ask you to “sign it back to him.”

If you think you might be the victim of identity theft by your father, go to IdentityTheft.gov and follow the advice about what to do.

I would also suggest you go to AnnualCreditReport.com and get a copy of each of your three major credit reports to see what accounts might be opened under your name.

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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