We Are Trying to Find Help to Consolidate Private Student Loans. – Pam

“Dear Steve,

We are trying to find help for our son to consolidate his private student loans. He went to an Ohio college/university for 5 years and ran out of money. He cannot go back because he can’t afford to and because he is working more than full time in order to live and pay his loans. The loans are much more than he can afford each month while also trying to survive. He can’t keep up with the payments and they are constantly getting calls from collectors who are unwilling to help him, or us to help him. His credit is ruined because of this and ours is messed up because my husband cosigned. He has asked them to consolidate to lower his payments so he can make the payments and we have asked. They say they can’t help. He was on a forebearance but now they denied a new one. I receive a disability pension and my husband receives a monthly retirement check. We don’t have the money to help him and with our credit being messed up because of the si tuation with the student loans….we don’t know what to do.

How and where can we turn to get his private school loans consolidated so that his payments are manageable, with the poor credit. He wants to repay his loans, but can’t afford them at this amount. He owes $109,000. He does not want to default, he really does want to pay them back, but he can’t…so how, and where, can he get help so that his loans can be consolidated and the monthly payment more manageable?

Thank you so much. We hope that there is SOMETHING that can be done.


Dear Pam,

Private student loans suck! They are not dischargeable in bankruptcy and they have no reason to cut anyone any breaks. If they were government backed student loans there would be a lot of options, but with private student loans, none.

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If you agree with President Obama or not, thankfully the current administration took action in early 2010 to try to eliminate the private student loan disaster from impacting future generations.

The new law will eliminate fees paid to private banks to act as intermediaries in providing loans to college students and use much of the nearly $68 billion in savings over 11 years to expand Pell Grants and make it easier for students to repay outstanding loans after graduating. The law also invests $2 billion in community colleges over the next four years to provide education and career training programs to workers eligible for Trade Adjustment aid.

The law will increase Pell Grant grants along with inflation in the next few years, which should raise the maximum grant to $5,975 from $5,550 by 2017, according to the White House, and it will also provide 820,000 more grants by 2020. Including money from last year’s stimulus program and regular budget increases, the White House said Mr. Obama has now doubled spending on Pell Grants.

Students who borrow money starting in July 2014 will be allowed to cap their repayments at 10 percent of their income above basic living requirements, instead of 15 percent. Moreover, if they keep up their payments, they will have any remaining debt forgiven after 20 years instead of 25 years – or after 10 years if they are in public service, such as teaching, nursing or serving in the military. – Source

I wish I had better news for you but in this case, I don’t.

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