I’m on a Fixed Income and Can’t Afford to Pay on Cosigned Student Loan


Dear Steve,

I co-signed for my son in 2008–payment were current until Nov 2015 when he lost his job.

He has talked to them several time at Navient-Sallie Mae sold loan to them- now I am getting calls about 4 times a day, I’m retired on fixed income of appx $1150 month.

They just tell me I have to make the payments and they will not reduce them and my son still isn’t working–HELP what can I do to stop the phone calls.

what can I do to stop the daily calls.



Dear Linda,

I hate to state the obvious but the easiest way to make the calls stop would be to change your phone number. Of course there are a wild array of other tools people use to screen or block calls as well.

But that doesn’t change the underlying problem of the co-signed loan. When you co-sign you agree to accept full responsibility for the loan. The lender has a right to pursue you and could even exercise a right to sue you to collect.

If you are concerned about being sued, you should consult with an attorney who is licensed in your state and get a legal opinion about how to deal with that.

If you have no big assets and are living on Social Security or other benefit then you may be what people call judgment proof. That means while you can be sued, the creditor may be unable to collect from you when they win.

I’m assuming this is a private student loan. Defaulting on private student loan payments is unpleasant but not entirely unreasonable. I would ask you to read this article for more information.

If this is a federal student loan for some reason, then tell let me know. Nearly all federal student loans do not require a cosigner.


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Steve Rhode
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