My Husband Went to Jail and My Student Loans Went to Limbo


Dear Steve,

My now ex-husband is incarcerated for 20 years. Prior to his incarceration, I signed paperwork to endorse a consolidation for student loans. I could no longer afford to pay the Navient high monthly payment. The Navient website lists two consolidated loans at zero dollars owed and paid by N.Y. State Higher Department of Education.

Does this mean the loans went into default? My credit report does not list the loans. What problems could this cause for me?



Dear Susan,

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

It is unclear exactly what kind of loans these were, federal or private. If I had to bet I’d say it is possible this was a federal student loan guaranteed by N.Y. State Higher Department of Education.

To get more clarity on what is really going on here you have two choices. You can start making calls and digging to find out what reality is or you can do nothing and not poke the bear.

You can contact the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation here.

If these are really federal student loans you can also attempt to access the loan status at the National Student Loan Data System.

My concern is as a cosigner, you have a separate but full liability to repay these loans. That’s what a cosigner is for.

It might just be these have fallen into a temporary or permanent black hole but the only way to know what the status is would be to poke around and do some research.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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