My Son is in the Navy With Navient Private Student Loan Debt I Co-Signed For


Dear Steve,

My son is in the Navy and, prior to that, went to college for 1 year but never graduated.

He has been in the military for 11 years and he has had his student loan deferred but, of course, it stills accrues interest. I am a co-signer on the loan. He has 2 Navient private loans outstanding.

What would be the most beneficial route for him to take to pay these loans?

We have thought about consolidation and refinancing but he would like to be able to have some loan forgiveness for his time in the military.

The current loan together comes to ~$600/month which is a little high for him to pay. I am retired and don’t have much money I can spare to pay for the loans.

Any information would be very useful. Thank you.



Dear Marianne,

I wish I had a time machine we could use to step back in time and do some things differently.

But let’s deal with where you are today.

As the co-signer, you are 100 percent liable for the loans. If he fails to pay the loans then Navient could come after you for payment. It will also impact your credit but I’m not sure if at this point that’s going to be your biggest concern.

It is absolutely possible to negotiate a settlement of Navient private student loans and my debt coach friend Damon Day is a real pro at advising people about this.

There are two types of settlements possible. The first is to remove yourself as a co-signer and for just a bit more the entire loans can be settled. Settling the loans has potential tax and credit report consequences but at this point, I’m not sure that’s the biggest worry. If you are insolvent, no tax would be due.

Since these are private student loans there is no government Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) available. But the PSLF program is a great example of a government program that has developed into an utter mess.

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Most of the benefits that might apply for your son are geared towards new recruits or for those on active duty deployment. For those deployed, interest rates are limited and payments may not be due. But that doesn’t do anything to eliminate the private student loan.

Realistically, the best option at this point is for you to talk to a uniquely qualified knolwdgeable professional like Damon Day to come up with a strategy to make the best out of a really bad situation.

Private student loans suck.

The other slim option is your son went to a trade or vocational school that was not a Title IV approved school. In that case, his private student loans may be eligible for discharge in bankruptcy, but that’s a slog as well.


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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