My Father Agreed to Pay for My College Expenses and Then Didn’t


Dear Steve,

My father and mother divorced when I was 4 and he agreed in the divorce decree to pay for my college expenses. I have about $40,000 student loan debt from private Wells Fargo loans – 4 separate loans. He manipulated me to sign an agreement when I was under distress after he refused to pay my freshmen year of college and made me sign to agree he would pay a portion up front and then co-sign my loans. Now my four loan payments are $450 a month and as a teacher I cannot afford to pay it. He constantly threatens me and refuses to pay.

How can I get out of my student loans? How do I go about implementing what the original divorce decree stated so that he is responsible for the debt?



Dear Samantha,

The divorce agreement is just that, an agreement between your mother and father. I am not a lawyer and you would need to seek legal advice from an attorney who is licensed in the state where the divorce agreement was signed. But I think the only recourse would be for your mother to take your father to court to attempt to enforce the terms of the agreement.

Sadly your father sounds like he;s being a big jerk.

Since these are private student loans your options are limited. However if he did co-sign on the loans then one option you always have is to stop paying. As a co-signer he is 100% liable for the loans if you fail to pay. The default of payments will also hurt his credit.

You might want to read Top 10 Reasons You Should Stop Paying Your Unaffordable Private Student Loan.

Defaulting on your private student loans has risks and consequences. The risk is you might be sued, a consequence is the default may lead to you settling the debt or establishing more favorable repayment terms.

See also  AES Consolidated Student Loans in Divorce - Lori

Before you do anything, you should probably consult with an attorney who is licensed in your state and determine if pursuing the divorce agreement even has a shot or if preparing yourself for a default strategy is the smarter thing to do at this point. When it comes to finding a good student loan attorney, look at this list of attorneys.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

Steve Rhode

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