Get Out of Debt Guy - Steve Rhode

How Can I Get My Navient Private Student Loans Forgiven Because I’m Disabled?

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Question:

Dear Steve,

I took out a student loan in 2006 with my father as the cosigner for a one year nursing program (LPN). I worked for the next few years after getting my license in 2008. Navient is the loan servicer. In 2013, after years of struggling with health issues, I became legally totally and permanently disabled. I live on social security disability, about $900 a month. My father, the cosigner, is now retired and lives out of the country. The loan payment is almost $300.

My question is, since I am legally disabled, is there a way to get the loan discharged. I have heard it is possible but very difficult, dealing with private companies such as Navient. How would I proceed? Is this a real possibility? Thank you so much.

Emily

Answer:

Dear Emily,

If these were federal student loans the answer would be simple and the solution would end the loans. But for federal student loans the issue your father “cosigned” may mean he took out a PLUS loan for your education. In that case it’s not your loan and your disability would have no impact. According to the Department of Education, “Parents with PLUS loans may apply for discharge based on their own disabilities, not those of their children.”

But from your question I’m not entirely certain these are federal or private student loans, Navient services both just to make it utterly confusing.

If these are private student loans you’d have to go to Navient and see if they magically manufactured a disability solution. They used to offer a deferment option but that just delays the situation and makes the situation worse.

I suppose if there is any good news if these were private student loans it would be if you defaulted on your student loans the chances of Navient chasing your father outside the country for repayment are slim. And if you have no other income or assets besides your disability income that is most likely protected from a judgment.

Don’t get me wrong, they may eventually sue you for non-payment and you would lose but your income as a public benefit is most likely protected. If they did sue you it would be an excellent opportunity to talk to the attorney about a negotiated solution.

Before you embark on a path of defaulting, if this is a private student loan, I would suggest you talk to an attorney who is licensed in your state to discuss how this would unfold. You may even be eligible for free legal assistance from a local legal aid clinic.

If you have any more questions or information, just post it in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer.


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