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How Can I Get My Father Off My Private Student Loans as a Co-Signer?

“Dear Steve,

I’m about $80,000 in debt in private student loans.

I’m behind on my payments and my credit is a mess.

My father co-signed on my loan with his perfect credit.

I was wondering if you had any advice for me. Is there any way to consolidate private student loans without adding a co-signer? I am trying to consolidate my loans so that it will hopefully lower my payments but mostly so my father is no longer the co-signer. My past due accounts are hurting his perfect credit score and he’s understandably upset! I’ve talked to a few consolidation companies and they either don’t do private loans or the loan has to be paid up to date and my credit needs to be outstanding for them to even consider helping me! I would really appreciate any direction…. I don’t know what else I can do!

As a side note, if I filed for bankruptcy with my private student loans would that effect the credit of my co-signer?

Ashley”

The Answer

Dear Ashley,

There are some private student loan companies out there but I’m not sure I could guide you more than a Google search. I’ve yet to find one that was a great resource for a wide group of people.

There are some private student loan consolidation lenders that are narrowly focused like sofi.com and custudentloans.com Besides some casual interaction with them I don’t have a whole lot of feedback from borrowers. If you go that route, let me know what your experience is like.

If your credit was good or better and the amount you owed was less than $30,000 or so then I’m still a fan of LendingClub.com for unsecured debt consolidation loans. They fund a boatload of them.

Sadly the reason a lender asks for a co-signer is so they have someone to go after if the loan isn’t paid as agreed. The co-signer agrees to accept the full responsibility for the loan and is 100 percent on the hook for it.

Some private student lenders have a process for releasing a co-signer but it’s tough to do and I haven’t seen one do it when the loan is or has recently been delinquent. That’s the exact time they want the co-signer on the hook.

If your private student loan were eligible to be included in a bankruptcy then as long as your father is a co-signer it would impact his credit.

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.

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