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

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

I am a single mom who, without any help from their father, helped my two daughters get their degrees… one in the medical field and the other in the culinary arts. One thing I didn’t understand as I was taking out Parent Loans is that I was getting them, not based on ability to repay or my credit, but just basically because I asked! Now I’m saddled with almost $100,000 in debt. I’ve consolidated and am on the graduated repayment plan and my payments are still almost $700 a month….for 25 years!

My question is in regards to private loans and federal loans. My loans are serviced by Fedloan Servicing …. it sounds like a federal loan but is it? Also, there is no possible way for me to make payments that large. I am worried about my credit… will only making partial payments destroy my credit. And lastly, is there any potential hope pending in legislation to help the many folks like me in this situation.



Dear Jody,

Parent PLUS loans are federal student loans. I’d need more specific information to identify your private student loans. One way to do this is to logon to the NSLDS site and that will list you federal loans.

Since you have already consolidated the federal loans you can file an Income Driven Repayment Plan Request and see if the income based plan would be lower for you.

The Repayment Estimator provides a comparison of estimated monthly payment amounts for all federal student loan repayment plans, including income-driven plans. This comparison is important because the income-driven plans may not provide you with the lowest payment amount based on your individual circumstances. Your payment may be lower under another repayment plan.

Federal loans are passed out like water and not on the ability to repay. Another thing to keep in mind is if you work in some public service or nonprofit field. If you do then you loans could be forgiven in 10 years. See the program information below.

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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.

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