I Have a Consolidated Parent PLUS Loan I Need to Find Relief For

“Dear Steve,

I have a consolidated federal parent plus loan for my daughter in the amount of 29k. I have been paying for 7 years is there any relief for me anywhere? I am 61 years of age.


Dear Elaine,

There is so much unknown from your question. Please feel free to post updates in the comments below.

If you consolidated on the standard ten year repayment plan you’ve only got three years left to pay. In that case, pay the last three years.

Hopefully you didn’t agree to some extended repayment plan that would drag this out into retirement.

From your email address I see you work for a public school system. In that case you may be eligible for full loan forgiveness after ten years, from 2007. More information on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program can be found here.

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Outside of that you seem to also be eligible for the Income Contingent Repayment Plan. Under that plan your payments would be based on your income and expenses. You’d pay more for the loan over time than you would on the standard ten year repayment plan but you’d also have a potentially much lower payment.

Your payment would be calculated as either the lesser of 20% of your discretionary income or what you would pay on a fixed 12-year payment plan. The reduced repayment period based on discretionary income could last as long as 25 years. More information on the ICR can be found here.

However, there is a combination solution here. If you are making income based payments under the Income Contingent Repayment Plan and you are eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, those reduced payments would count towards your 120 payments to completely eliminate any loan balance. That seems like a winner.

I realize this all gets a bit mind bending so it might be beneficial to talk to a student loan specialist who can assist you with all of this. They will probably charge a fee but it might be money well spent to navigate these confusing and dark waters.

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Of course there is always another option, have your daughter help and pitch in on your payment and knock this loan out, fast.

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

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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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