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My Husband Got the Parent Plus Loan from His Ex-Wife in the Divorce

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

I have been married to my husband for about 2 yrs now. He has been stuck with a parent loan out of his divorce. The total is 170,000.00

His ex wife signed all the documents and he was aware of some of the debt but not to this amount. Can we attempt to make her (ex wife)or the child who this is for responsible for paying it back.
In addition I had no idea does this debt involve me in any way shape or form.

If the payment is in default …. Do we have a chance to resolve some how…also with the amount being sooooo high are there any ways to get it reduced or dismissed?



Dear Cathy,

I’m assuming this is a Parent Plus federal loan.

If the ex-wife took out the loan and signed for it, it is her loan and responsibility. Any agreement in the divorce for your husband to pay it, is an agreement between the two spouses and not the lender and your husband. Legal responsibility for the loan can’t be shifted by a divorce agreement.

If you stopped paying the loan and the loan was taken out by the ex-wife and in her name, the lender would go after the ex-wife for payment and she might then try to get the court to enforce the divorce agreement that both parties mutually agreed to.

But the bottom line is unless the ex-wife fraudulently signed your husbands name to the parent loan, it’s just not his loan.


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.

See also  Why Did They Give Me Parent PLUS Loans I Could Not Afford?

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.


  • Hello, My ex-wife had a parent plus loan in her name. After the divorce I attempted to help her purchase her house by submitting a letter to the court that stated I take responsibility for the loan. Am I now legally responsible for the loan and can she successfully sue me if I stop paying?

    • It seems you created an agreement between you and your ex-wife and not the lender. That letter won’t change the fact she is still on the hook for the loan. She could potentially pursue you for breaking the agreement between the two of you but you’d need to consult with an attorney who is licensed in your state for legal advice.

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