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Home > Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts > I’m in Prison for 35 Years. How Do I Repay My Student Loan? – Kay

I’m in Prison for 35 Years. How Do I Repay My Student Loan? – Kay

“Dear Steve,

I met with a young woman I have written to in prison for eleven years on Monday. She has a student loan that has gone to collection and is accruing 5% interest annually. Do you know of any options for someone who earns just $600 annually? Her sentence is another 35 years and she has no other options for paying and has therefore ignored it. I urged her to face the music but information is scarce in prison.

Can a state prisoner have the interest on their student loans adjusted or stopped while they are serving their sentence if they begin a diligent monthly payment program of say $25 a month on a 12K debt from eleven years ago?


Dear Kay,

Hopefully it is a government backed student loan. If it is I’d suggest you help your friend apply for the Income Based Repayment Program (IBR). The IBR will allow here to show the government what she can afford and after 20 years any remaining balance is forgiven.

I am not aware of any opportunity for a convict to get any concessions on a student loan. If that was the case some people would intentionally go to prison to escape their student loans.

Your inclination is correct to deal with it now. Just because your friend is afraid to address the situation does not change it. If she did nothing, by the time she got out of prison she would have a huge balance that she’d still owe. There is no downside to addressing it ASAP.

If she does nothing, by the time she gets out the balance will have increased to about $66,000.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About Steve Rhode

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.
  • Dman

    People would intentionally go to prison to avoid student loans? You are a total idiot and have no credibility. People re dumb, but not many are. If you truly are dumb enough to think of that, I feel sorry for you.

    • Chris Brown

      I would do it.

    • Damon Day

      I unfortunately see letters quite a bit from consumers contemplating suicide because they don’t know how to address their student loans. So you think they would contemplate suicide but not prison?

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