My Son Was Born With Down Syndrome and We’ve Stacked Up Some Bills. – Leigh

“Dear Steve,

Almost 2 years ago I gave birth to a little boy with Down Syndrome. He has had a lot of medical issues that have cost us a lot of money and other things have been shoved to the back. In the last 10 months alone we have spent almost $16,000 in medical bills. Some of that has been with help from family.

My son does not recieve any benefits because my husband makes just over the allowed amount. I am a stay at home mother of 2 and one of the things that’s been forgotten or put aside has been my student loans. I have been so busy with keeping my son healthy that I spaced my student loan payment. I kept thinking “I will talk to them tomorrow.” But tomorrow comes and goes and it doesn’t get done. I am now 6 months behind and they want the balance in full.

My question is “what is my best course of action, will they still be willing to defer payments after 6 months of not paying?”


Dear Leigh,

First off, give him a hug for me. I’m sure he’s a really special son.

Hopefully your student loans are government backed and if they are I’d contact your servicer about the Income Based Repayment (IBR) program. It’s the best shot at getting a lower payment based on income.

You intuition about dealing with this is spot on. Better to be as proactive as possible about this than trying to find a solution after it blows up.

You may have already explored these benefits but the Down’s Syndrome Association provides this excellent resource on possible benefits.

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


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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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1 thought on “My Son Was Born With Down Syndrome and We’ve Stacked Up Some Bills. – Leigh”

  1. Steve,
    Thank you for you advice! I spent an hour on the phone with a very nice guy who was more than willing to help me out. In the past they haven’t always been nice, making the calling that much harder. He was able to bring the account current by placing it in foreberance. We discussed different options but his advice was to do a graduated plan. It took my payments down to $21.77 (Which my Mom offered to pay) Having this settled made things a lot less stressful. Now we just need to tackle the remainder of my son’s medical bills and hope that he stays super healthy from now on.
    Thank you


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