Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Student Loan Related Student Loans

Why Can’t I Put My Parent PLUS Loan in an Income Based Repayment Program?

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

I have significant student loan debt and applied for IBR and was denied, due to there being a PLUS (parent) loan in my record.

I did not participate in anyway in the creation of any PLUS loan. My suspicion is that it was created fraudulently using my identifying information from when I co-signed on a loan for my daughter (three years prior to this fraudulent loan). This situation goes bask to 1999.

What is your take on why having a PLUS loan in one’s loan consolidation bars an individual from IBR?

Additionally, any thoughts out how to get an erroneous or fraudulent PLUS loan removed from one’s “portfolio”? In this case there is no legitimate signed loan application in the file. This loan was “robo” created most likley.



Dear Michele,

Sadly I don’t make the government rules, just report on them. A Parent PLUS loan can be put into an income driven repayment program, just not an Income Based Repayment (IBR) plan.

Let’s assume the loan was created fraudulently. But the question is after 16 years, how are you going to prove that? Are you willing or able to hire an attorney to pursue this matter and even so, what is the statute of limitations for going after any party involved? You can always file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the Department of Education Ombudsman and ask for help with the presumed fraud.

You can certainly ask for documentation from the servicer but it would be a horrible long-shot to get that loan unwound now.

Parent PLUS loans are handled through a different repayment plan, the Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) plan. See this article for details on what you can do, “The Best Way to Lower Parent PLUS Loan Payments.”

So you should be able to deal with the PLUS loan separately and the rest of the loans in an IBR. But while you pursue these options, just keep in mind an income driven repayment program is not a silver bullet or magic wand. There are big consequences people rarely talk about. Read this.

READ  I am on disability, owe a lot of money on parent plus loans, what can I do? - Bonny


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.

About the author

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.


  • Hi Steve,

    I love your site! Noticed a probable typo in the article, don’t know how easy it is to fix:

    “But while you pursue these options, just keep in mind an income driven repayment program is now a silver bullet or magic wand. ”

    I’m fairly certain you meant to say it’s “not” a silver bullet! 🙂

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top