My Sister Died and Owed Sallie Mae. My Other Sister Co-Signed. – Arthur

“Dear Steve,

My sister (Annemarie) had a Sallie Mae Loan in the amount of around 78,000.00 dollars for education. My younger sister (Diane) co-signed the loan. On 16 May 2011 my sister Anne passed away. I sent a Certificate of Death to Sallie Mae, thinking this would clear the debt, instead they assigned the debt to my younger sister who barley earns above minimum wage. Diane cannot repay this loan. As much as I would love to offer an explanation for how she reached this point. I am dumbfound because, I was not aware this occured. I am only trying to research and help my younger sister out. Bankruptcy says, this is not an option.

If the primary of the Sallie Mae loan passes away and the co-signer cannot repay the debt. can it be dismissed?


Dear Arthur,

I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your sister Annemarie.

As if to add more tragic news to your tragedy, a co-signer is wholly responsible for the debt if the primary borrower can’t pay. And because this is a Sallie Mae loan rather than a government backed loan the only repayment options that are available will be through the current servicer.

At the time your younger sister agreed to co-sign I doubt she ever would have predicted this eventuality. Did Annmarie have any life insurance that could pay off the loan?

You may want to contact Sallie Mae and ask directly is Annemarie took out life insurance directly against her loans. Sallie Mae does offer such products through outside relationships.

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


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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