I graduated from college in 2014 after spending five years in school due to a college transfer my second year in making me incur an extra year. I have several student loans in my name, mostly through Navient and a Perkins loan in my name I believe that’s currently being paid by my parents.
For the latter part of my schooling, when I transferred schools, my parents took out a Parent Plus loan in their names, initially while I was in school the agreement was we would both pay some of the loan when it came due.
My mother began taking out the maximum allowed for the parent plus loan in order to receive a “refund”.
My school worked on the quarter system so that was refunds to the tune of about $3,000 for each quarter. I can estimate these extra costs at around $30,000 over the years added to the loan that was no used for my education and of which my mother insisted she would pay back. I would give exact numbers but I don’t have access to the loan information. When I graduated from school my parent’s story changed. I couldn’t find a job right about and I began taking any decent part time job relatively in my field (I studied animation) I could in order to make money while living under my parents’ roof.
Instead of using that money to put a little towards my loan payments my mother emotionally abused me for 2.5 years, going into my bank account, guessing my paypal passwords and insisting I give her money. I had no savings since everything went to her and she would turn around and buy my sister anything she wanted and continue to maintain a lifestyle that was unsustainable.
She always had a massive problem with credit cards and my father’s income fluctuates based on his amount of work at the time. In those two years I was deeply depressed and suicidal and ended up giving everything I had in an attempt to stop both my mother and my sister’s abuse towards me.
I gave her roughly $12,000 over those years and I was desperate for anyway out but knew that massive parent plus loan payment was looming. My mother said she’d pay off some of my smaller loans in my and my father’s name to make up for the extra on the loan she took out but that still didn’t change the fact that I would be staring down a massive parent plus loan payment, that was more then it should have been because of her.
In June of 2016 I was finally able to find a full time job but it was an hour and a half from my home. I began working, making roughly $41,800 a year salary, and eventually moved out of my parent’s house with a roommate to be closer to work.
My mental health increased dramatically and things seemed to be looking up until February when my mother called to tell me the Parent Plus loan was out of deferments. The payment is $1100. On the 20 year plan. She told me there was nothing she could do, she tried to talk them into an income-based repayment plan but claims they said her and my father make too much money, and she doesn’t want to rock the boat too much because she still has to take out a loan for my sister’s last year of college, which she wants me to co-sign for. (They put all my sister’s loans in her name, having learned from their mistakes with me).
I don’t know what to do, I can’t afford my rent ($900 I live and work in North NJ) and my other expenses (car payment, insurance, my own student loans) with that loan payment. My mother doesn’t seem to want to do anything about this and wants me to change jobs on the fly (as if that were easy) when I haven’t even been here a full two years, and to magically come up with the money, she wants me to dip into my savings, all things that won’t help in the long term.
My mother also has taken out credit cards in my name raked up what appears to be $26,000 in credit card debt in my name.
Also worth mentioning is that my grandfather died last year (my mom has been cosigning his name to students loans I learned, and that’s why they want me to cosign for my sister’s previous loan) and my mother is executor of the estate.
My aunt is owed 60% because of all the money my grandfather loaned my mom over the years an I found out last weekend when I was home for the holidays that my mother apparently drained the estate and is hoping to hide it by selling the house and giving my aunt everything from that. I’m realizing my mother is a gaping black hole and my father knows it too but has yet to completely leave for reasons I can’t discern and my sister still lives under their roof.
I don’t even know how to begin with trying to quantify all this debt my mother has saddled me with before I would even begin. I’m turning 27 this month and I just see no future for me, I ended up in product design which I enjoy and I’m going to try to ask for a raise but even if I was earning more the money I’m being expected to pay back is insane. I don’t know what to do and live in constant fear of being forced to go back to my parent’s because I know I won’t survive it. I don’t know if I should take legal action against my mother for all the forgeries or tell my aunt about my grandfather’s estate. I’m torn between trying to hold onto family even if my sister an father are culpable in varying ways, my sister actually having been a perpetrator of a lot of my emotional abuse under their roof as well. I don’t have one solid question I suppose, a more general “what can I possibly do?” in this situation.
Thank you for your time and I hope you can provide advice for what to do in this crazy situation.
As unbelievable as your situation is it is not even near the first time I’ve heard similar events.
Let me cut to the core of this issue, your mother is a criminal and out of control.
As soon as you discovered her use of your name for credit cards you should have filed a police report and notified the credit card company. Granted it is emotionally difficult to do that but if you don’t it is your credit card debt she forged and you’ll have to pay it. In fact, follow the steps at IdentityTheft.gov.
I have no sympathy for your mother on the Parent Plus loans. Those loans are in her name and her responsibility. You have zero liability for those loans.
If you co-sign any loans for anyone, you will need someone to kick your ass. That would be a dumb move. Do Not Do It!
Bottom line: Your mother has underlying emotional issues the are driving her spending. Spending is her drug. She is engaging in financial crimes on so many transactions to fuel her emotional spending and everyone is enabling her to spiral down with her fake facade.
If you don’t take the hard stance now and break free from this financial toxicity, then the financial mess you will have in the future will be your own damn fault.
You can be a victim here or you can reclaim your life. If you want to break free and set yourself up for success I would suggest you immediately put a credit freeze on all your credit reports, tell her you can’t repay her fraudulent use of the Parent Plus loans and if she doesn’t pay off the credit card debt right now you are filing a police report and turning her in. Change all your passwords and don’t use the same password on more than one site.
Your mother is a financial criminal and an emotional abuser. My condolences for your emotional health.
But unless you face this now you should expect your future to be a financial tragedy and ugly.