My Mother Owes the Same Amount on Her Student Loans 10 Years Later


Dear Steve,

I’m writing for my mother. She is 72. She completed college late in life and then retired from a state job at 62.

She is still paying student loans! Recently a loan company sold her loan and in the statements, she is receiving from them she owes the original balance!

Also when she doesn’t even a payment the balance doesn’t go down. She has spent hours on the phone to no avail. Also, her payment is now $500 a month. Nearly double of what she was paying. My mother has good credit but little money.

How can she get rid of this loan company or just rid of the student loans?



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Dear Jennifer,

It’s so awesome you are seeking solutions to help your mother. Good for you!

Here is what we do know, loans are front-loaded with interest. The minimum payment covers primarily the interest and the balance will go down very little. The payment plan selected may be an extended interest-only plan so we need to look at what payment plan she was on.

It’s not clear if this is a private student loan but I suspect it was if the debt owner changed. If it was a federal student loan the servicer could have changed and that could have appeared like an ownership change. To confirm if this is actually a federal student loan, log in to the National Students Loan Data System (NSLDS) and see if the loan appears there. Only federal loans will appear.

Since you are now invested in getting to the bottom of this, check and see if she ever had a period of forbearance or a payment holiday. This would inflate her balance since unpaid interest would increase the balance due. We need to make sure she has not missed any payments since starting to repay the loan.

See also  Student Loan Infographic. Yep, Student Loans Suck.

If you can post more information for me in the comments below we can take this to the next step.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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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