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I’ve Paid Enough to Navient and My Husband is Terribly Ill

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

I currently have a private student loan with Navient for $12.000, for which my bother is the co-signer.

I have been paying the minimum for over 6 years, and I have never been behind on a payment.

After doing the math, I already paid off this loan 2 times over. The situation is that my husband, who is in his late 40″s was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which advanced very rapidly.

Unfortunately, he is now at stage 4, disabled, and dependent on me for everything. I am his caregiver.

As you can imagine, it is very hard for me to take care of our finances, as I can only work part-time. Due to the nature of his condition, we have decided to move to my home country, where he will have a better quality of life.

I don’t want to default on my loan or cause my brother any troubles. My parents loaned me some money so that I can settle this debt before leaving the country.

I explained the whole situation to Navient and offered to provide the necessary paperwork, but they said they don’t negotiate.

Please advise.



Dear Carol,

I’m so sorry to hear about your husband and his struggles with his medical issues. This is a good example of how loan agreements are absolute but life isn’t.

I wish I had better news for you.

To get your account to a point where Navient will settle you will have to default and risk being sued. This will negatively impact your brother and his credit. He may then be subject to being sued as well.

However, by working through this with a knowledgeable student loan negotiater you can default, and your brother could use the funds to release himself from the loan. For a bit more you can probably settle the loan.

Keep in mind settling can lead to tax consequences and tax due if you are not insolvent.

See also  I Live Outside the U.S. and Can't Pay My Student Loans Anymore

If your brother was onboard with defaulting and then negotiating a cosigner release after 90 days or so then it would end his liability for the loan and you could leave the U.S. without worry. If you come back to live in the U.S. you might be subject to a lingering judgment depending on a lot of different factors.

Given what you’ve shared, if your brother and parents agree with this plan then working with a professional like Damon Day or another person you may find can solve some of your goals.

You and your brother are just going to have to be ready to take some credit report pain to get him off the loan.

Alternatively, he can keep making the payments for you.

By the way, it sounds like you were on a reduced payment plan with Navient where the majority of your payment was going towards interest only. The only way to avoid the interest would have been to make a much higher payment each month.


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.

About the author

Steve Rhode

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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