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4 Easy Options to Get Parent PLUS Loans Under Control in 2017


Most news about student loans focuses on struggling college graduates who can’t repay their loans.

But what about the parents? We hardly ever hear about parents who are stuck repaying Parent PLUS Loans for their children who obtained an undergraduate degree.

This group of parents isn’t so small, either. In fact, Parent PLUS loan debt currently stands at about $62 billion.

Even worse, Parent PLUS loans have the highest interest rates among all federal student loans. For the 2014–15 school year, the rate is 7.21%. Plus, that’s expected to rise again on July 1, 2015, when rates will be set for the upcoming school year.

On the plus side, I’m happy to report that many Parent PLUS loan repayment options available to students with loans are also available to parents. But what are the best options? Let’s take a look…

1) Income-Contingent Parent PLUS Loan Repayment Plan

Pros: Lowers monthly payments and offers Parent PLUS loan forgiveness after 25 years.

Cons: Likely increases total interest charges. Requires paying a higher percentage of income than other repayment plans.

Currently, the Income-Based Repayment and Pay As You Earn plans aren’t available for Parent PLUS loans. As a result, parents generally have to pay a larger chunk of their discretionary income. But these payments may still be less than those of other options.

Parent PLUS loans are eligible for Income-Contingent Repayment if they have been included in a Federal Direct Consolidation loan. Income Contingent Repayment caps payments at 20% of the borrower’s discretionary income. Keep in mind that discretionary income is usually less than gross income earned.

One advantage with Income-Contingent Repayment is that you’ll be eligible for Parent PLUS loan forgiveness after you make payments for 25 years. However, the same limitations apply as for student loan forgiveness, so you must see how much forgiveness is worth compared to added interest costs.

To qualify for income-contingent repayment, your Parent PLUS loan will need to be consolidated first by the Department of Education into a Direct Consolidation loan. This is the standard federal student loan consolidation option. In order to apply for a Direct Consolidation loan you should contact your student loan servicer.

2) Parent PLUS Loan Consolidation and Refinancing

Pros: Decreases high interest rates on Parent PLUS Loans.

Cons: Requires borrowers to qualify based on credit and income, as well as negates some flexibility afforded by federal student loans.

Parent PLUS Loan refinancing has the potential to work especially well for some parents. In general, parents of college students have more established credit histories than graduates in their 20s. If you’re a parent who has maintained a high credit score, then your situation bodes well for your approval for student loan refinancing.

Generally, banks that refinance Parent PLUS loans like to see steady income and employment history as well, which will increase your odds of being approved. Want to get a sense of whether you might qualify to refinance? Take our refinancing eligibility quiz!

However, keep in mind that private student loans don’t have all of the same repayment options that federal student loans do. While you can change federal student loan repayment plans at any time, this isn’t the case with private student loans.

Refinancing Parent PLUS loans includes another option: refinancing your Parent PLUS loans into your child’s name. This is currently offered by Darien Rowayton Bank, SoFi, and CommonBond.

3) Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

Pros: Eligible for Parent PLUS loan forgiveness after 10 years.

Cons: Limited to certain career fields.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a federal program for certain public service employees, such as those in government and nonprofits fields. This program allows all federal student loan debt to be forgiven after 120 payments (typically 10 years).

Many graduates on track to take advantage of public service loan forgiveness do so with income-based repayment plans. Just keep in mind that as mentioned above, Income-Based Repayment isn’t available for Parent PLUS loans. Instead, you’ll likely need to consolidate your loan with the Federal Government and use Income-Contingent Repayment.

Before you shoot for public service loan forgiveness, make sure you qualify. All of the rules that apply to other federal student loans typically apply to Parent PLUS loans as well.

With any loan for which you plan to take advantage of loan forgiveness, make sure that your strategy is a smart one. It’s possible that you might not have much or any debt left over to forgive after the repayment period. This can do more harm than good as you will pay a bunch of extra interest yet receive nothing in return.

You can learn more about Parent PLUS forgiveness options here.

4) Standard Parent PLUS Loan Repayment

Pros: Keeps the total cost down via repayment over 10 years.

Cons: Could be less affordable, given comparably high monthly payments.

If you’re paying off a Parent PLUS loan, then you’ll automatically be enrolled in the Standard Repayment Plan. There’s nothing wrong with this option, as long as you can afford to make the payments. Stay on track, and you’ll have the loans paid off in 10 years.

The only problems with standard Parent PLUS loan repayment surface when you can’t afford to make payments. If such cases, you’ll likely want to pursue another repayment option instead of risking default.

In addition to the options above, also note: graduated repayment and extended repayment options are also available. However, they often aren’t preferable to the other options listed here.

So, which option should you choose? The choice really depends on your situation. The best option is typically the one by which you can pay off student loans most quickly and at the lowest cost.

No matter which repayment method, all student loans are eligible for a student loan interest deduction of up to $2,500. However, since this deduction is subject to several rules (including income caps), check out our posts to see whether you qualify.

Interested in refinancing your Parent PLUS loans?

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Published in Federal Student Loan Refinancing, Federal Student Loan Repayment, Federal Student Loans, Pay Off Student Loans, Private Student Loan Consolidation, Private Student Loan Refinancing, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Student Loan Consolidation, Student Loan Repayment Options

  • Hi Alexa,

    Sorry for the delay. To be honest, I’m not sure if this is possible as I haven’t heard of a case like this before. You may wish to check with some of the lenders here as they’d be better able to answer: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/5-banks-to-refinance-your-student-loans/



  • Hi Kris,

    Yes, you should be able to switch to Income-Contingent repayment. And yes, according to the FAQ below, you can file separately and have payments based only on your income (see page 4).


    I hope this helps. Let us know if you have more questions.


    Student Loan Hero

  • Hi Steve,

    That doesn’t sound right. Do you know which repayment plan you’ve been on? Have you deferred payments?

    I ask because unless you changed repayment plans these loans should’ve been paid off in 10-12 years.

    Are you able to contact your servicer to find out?

    Let me know what you find out and I may be able to help more.


    Student Loan Hero

  • Hi Matt,

    Glad to hear you’re tackling this debt. That’s a great question.

    You can consolidate Parent PLUS loans with other federal loans. However, when you do this, you limit some of your repayment options. For example, Parent PLUS loans are no eligible for Pay as Your Earn or Income-Based Repayment (IBR).

    We also generally don’t recommend Direct Loan Consolidation as this averages your interest rates, making it impossible for you to target the student loans with the highest interest rates first with the Debt Avalanche or Snowball Method.

    You can read more about this and consolidation loans in general here: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/direct-loan-consolidation-right-choice/

    I hope this helps. Best of luck paying off those loans!



  • Hi Michelle,

    I’m not sure of the answer to that. You can find more information about disability discharge here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/disability-discharge

    You can also call Nelnet seven days a week at 1-888-303-7818 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time or you can e-mail Nelnet at disabilityinformation@nelnet.net.

    Hope this helps. If you have other questions, let me know.



  • Hi Beth,

    Unfortunately I cannot think of any forgiveness options that would apply here. In cases like yours, some borrowers are able to get student loans discharged in bankruptcy. But that’s often only for extreme cases and only works sometimes.

    Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. If you have other questions, let me know.



  • Hi Patricia,

    Have your children all exhausted all federal student loan options as well as private student loan options on their own? If so, I’m not sure there’s any other source of aid available.

    Since you’re a parent and not a student, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get assistance from Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The one case where this may work is if you consolidate your loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan and then enroll in Income-Continent Repayment. But this will still take at least 10 years to achieve. You can read more here: https://studentloanhero.com/federal-student-loans/parent-plus-loan-forgiveness-is-possible-heres-how-to-get-it/

    Sorry I can’t be of more help. If you have other questions, please let me know.



  • Hi Matt,

    Happy to help! You’re still going to be accruing interest either way. By consolidating you’ll have a much larger balance on a loan where the rates are averaged.

    If you don’t make extra payments at all then you’d basically accrue the same amount of interest than if you didn’t consolidate.

    But if you are making extra payments and they go towards the highest interest student loans, you’ll save money as the rest of your debt will be accruing interest at a lower rate. Make sense?

    If you have other questions, let me know.



  • Hi Pa,

    Generally, we recommend contacting a Certified Financial Planner to come up with a plan. This unfortunately is not free, but may help you save money in the long run. You can find one here: http://www.letsmakeaplan.org/choose-a-cfp-professional/find-a-cfp-professional

    I hope this helps. If you have other questions, let us know.



  • Hi Elizabeth,

    Sorry to hear you and your parents are going through this. hat’s really difficult.

    Are your parents able to move to Income-contingent repayment to get payments a bit more manageable? This article has a bit more about how to do this.

    In terms of delaying your education, that’s a really difficult personal decision. I’m not sure I can really give you a lot of advice there. Is there any way you can earn some income while in school to help your parents make payments?

    I hope this helps. If you have other questions I can help with, let me know.



  • Hi Bob,

    Thanks for your question. I’m a little confused. Are you on ICR now? If you’re eligible it shouldn’t change your servicer.

    Otherwise, I’m not sure there are other solutions at this point. I’d normally recommend looking into refinancing, but it’s typically not possible with an income like yours.

    If you have other questions, let me know.



  • Heather

    I have to pay my student loans at $180 and then pay for my dads parent plus loan because even though he took that out it was for my education so I have to pay it back. That payment is over $400 so I’m paying almost $600 a month in student loans. The struggle is really hard, especially since my dad doesn’t help make that payment and it can’t be based off of my income.

    • Hi Heather,

      That definitely sounds difficult, especially since your dad doesn’t help.

      One option you might want to look into (now or down the road) is refinancing these loans into your name. You can learn more here: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/refinance-parent-plus-loan-childs-name/



      • kelly

        Expecting your father to help seems unreasonable. Our parents generation is struggling just as much as we are — this is your education, not his. I’m sorry your payments are so high, but maybe thank him for taking out the loans to put you through school instead of chastising him on the internet for you having to pay them.

  • Hi Brant,

    Thanks for your question. Typically you cannot transfer student loan debt to another borrower’s name, with the one exception being that Parent PLUS loans can be refinanced in the child’s name in some cases.

    In terms of your own loans, your case would likely be a normal student loan refinancing scenario. You can see lender options here: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/5-banks-to-refinance-your-student-loans/

    In terms of the Parent PLUS loans, your wife’s parents may be eligible to refinancing these loans on their own as well. Here are the lenders that do that:https://studentloanhero.com/featured/top-banks-consolidate-refinance-parent-plus-loans/

    I hope this helps. If you have other questions, let us know.



  • Hi Lex,

    For PSLF, borrowers are required to make 120 qualifying payments. Only payments after after October 1, 2007 count. As far as I know, there’s no way around this.

    As far as transferring responsibility, some lenders now allow Parent PLUS loans to be refinanced into the child’s name. You can learn more about this here: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/refinance-parent-plus-loan-childs-name/

    Other than that, there might not be many options that he could qualify for, unfortunately. He may be able to qualify for forgiveness through ICR (see above), but this takes 25 years to do.

    If you have other questions, let me know.



    • Kristina Martinez

      Jeffrey, I was told to consolidate, then after 10 years my debt would be forgiven. I dont work for the government. At the time of the conversation I was not working at all. I think the information was incorrect. My husband who is not my child’s father whom the loan is for works at a non profit. I work part time now (new job) for a mortgage company. We are low income.

      • Hi Kristina,

        Sorry to hear about this. There are no programs I’m aware of that forgive student loan debt after 10 years if you’re not working or in a field that doesn’t qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

        Income-driven repayment programs do forgive debt, but it takes at least 20 years to get forgiveness with any of these programs.

        If there’s anything else I can do to help, let me know.



  • Hi Linda,

    Please see my response to this question and to Michelle here: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/easy-options-get-parent-plus-loan-repayment-under-control/#comment-2587744252



  • Hi CSG,

    Thanks for your question. Your only solution may be to get on Income-Contingent Repayment. To my knowledge, the only way to do this is through consolidating the loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan.

    Federal student loans are typically discharged after death. You can read more about this here: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/what-happens-to-student-loans-when-you-die/

    If you have additional questions regarding federal student loans, you can contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (800 433-3243)

    If there’s anything else we can do, let us know!



  • Brett Thomas

    Just found out yesterday after being married to my wife for a year and half that her parents took out 70,000$ in parent plus loans. While these are not in our name what are the legal ramification of these types of loans? I dont want them to pass these over to us since they just dropped this on us a year after she graduated and we were just looking at buying a house. She graduated over a year ago and was told not to work during college because they would take care of it. She has another loan for about 20,000 and we have been paying on that for over almost a year. We have agreed to help them out since the payments are close to 700$ a month for them by paying half but from what I have been reading this is there responsibility?

    • Hi Brett,

      Thanks for your question. To my knowledge, these loans are 100% the responsibility of the borrower(s) and not the student/child. So neither you nor your wife should have any legal obligation in this case.

      If there’s anything else I can do to help, let me know.



  • Hi Sara,

    Thanks for your question. No, this debt does not pass to other people upon death. This is the case for all federal loans. You can read more about death discharge here: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/what-happens-to-student-loans-when-you-die/

    If there’s anything else I can help with, let me know!



  • Hi Kyle,

    Yes, that is possible. You can learn more about that here: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/refinance-parent-plus-loan-childs-name/

    If you have other questions, let us know!



  • Hi Billy,

    I’m sorry to hear about your wife. Your best bet for lowering payments may be to attempt to consolidate your Parent PLUS loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan and then use income-contingent repayment to cap payments. If you’re able to do this, it would cap payments at 20 percent of your discretionary income.

    You can also attempt to refinance your student loans, as recommended above.

    If there’s anything else I can do to help, let me know!



  • Hi Madelyn,

    Yes, borrowers with Parent PLUS loans can deduct interest assuming they meet all the conditions. You can learn more here: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/student-loan-tax-deduction/

    In terms of using a home equity loan, this can be risky and we often don’t recommend this. That’s because doing so attaches collateral (i.e. a house) to the debt whereas student loans are not collateralized this way.

    If there’s anything else we can do, let us know!



  • Hi Karen,

    Sorry to hear the trouble you’re going through. While I’m not a legal expert, do you have the ability to go to court and force him to make payments since it’s in your divorce agreement?

    Unfortunately I do not think there is a way to have loans discharged in a case like this.

    Best of luck!


  • Hi DML,

    Sorry to hear about what you’re going through!

    In terms of income, I’m not exactly sure on this. I know they will need both incomes if you’re looking to enter a repayment plan like Income-Contingent Repayment.

    In terms of consolidation, you can consolidate into a Direct Consolidation Loan. Another option is to consider refinancing as described in this post.

    If there’s anything else I can do, let me know!



  • Hi Bonnie,

    To my knowledge, the government cannot take their home. They may end up in collections and try to garnish wages, but if your parents don’t have an income, I’m not sure there’s any other funds they’d have access to.

    You can read a bit more about this here: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/student-loan-collections-what-it-means-and-how-to-get-out/

    I hope this helps clear things up. If there’s anything else I can do, let me know.



  • Hi,

    Sorry to hear about this! Are you able to consolidate your loans and use an Income-Contingent or Income-Sensitive repayment option?

    Yes, refinancing may also be an option. There’s more information on this in Step 2 above.

    Outside of that, I can’t think of any other options. If there’s anything else I can help out with, let me know.



  • Tourist D

    Much of the same story. Both my husband and I have PPLoans for our son and daughter. Mine over $150K my husbands $120k. We are both near retirement age however, with job loss for my husband, we went through our savings.
    My loan has been in deferment for two years. The monthly payment will be over $1200. It will take one of my two paychecks.
    The awful thing is the loan grew to that amount because of 8% interest rate after I consolidated!!
    Both of our children have been grossly underemployed the last 6 years. They also have loans. Undergrad degrees, low paying jobs and huge debt.
    Am very interested in starting a movement. We are all quietly suffering!

  • Marjorie Rawson

    Count me in on the PPL victims…I can’t get a mortgage because of my daughters Parent Plus student loan. I’m angry, I feel stupid for doing it in the first place. I need to refinance this. I have 2 younger high schoolers. NEVER again with the Parent Plus loan. They will be going to Communtity College. I thought I was overwhelmed with 48k. Reading these comments make my stomach hurt and want to cry for the Nation’s parents !

  • Jill Cole

    I’m in. I have $95K in plus loans from my daughters education and now she will not honor her commitment to pay them.

  • Donna

    I have a parent plus loan and was wondering if this can be forgiven if I am a teacher that has been working for more then 5 yrs in a title one school.

  • Susan

    I have $75K in Parent Plus Loans. I was told by the federal loan servicing group to apply for a pay as you earn repayment plan. I did, I was approved. I also applied for Loan forgiveness because I work for a non-for-profit. I made my first payment in June. However, when I signed on today to look at why the July payment did not come out of my bank account I found out that they updated my repayment plan from a pay as you earn to an income contingent plan. This changed my monthly payment from $230 to $680 a month. I called to find out why and they told me that Parent Plus Loans cannot be considered for a pay as you earn repayment plan. I am frustrated needless to say. I was looking on line to find of if by any chance the loan rep didn’t know what they were talking about. Does anyone know?

  • Terri Lee

    Me too I’m in!!!! Luckily my son is making the payments ($485) but that means he can’t afford to move out of his dad’s house.

  • Debbie

    I took out a Parent Plus loan for my son 4 years ago, since that time I am now a single mom with another child starting college. When I took out the loan I never imagined that I would not have a second income. Is there an option for a discount if you pay off the majority of the loan at one time?

    • Hi Debbie,

      Thanks for your question. There are no discounts, per say, that I know of. However, if you pay off a large chunk, you should be able to save on interest charges over the long term.

      If you have other questions, let me know!



  • Kristina Martinez

    I’m in. The school my son went to commited fraud,they are closed now, but that does not help me. He is still paying, his wife still owes too. They have 2 kids, they barely make enough to keep the roof over their heads. We lost everything in the recession and still recovering. We will never be able to retire. We dont owe much but we need to reduce the interest and yes after 10 years need for
    giveness! We owe $14K. My email is mydreamcasa@yahoo.com, let’s get together and make changes!

  • Tom

    Please keep me updated. I support your actions. I have 5 children that all went to college. The last child is th only one we had to do the parent plus loans with. Now we are stuck with a large payment and ready to retire.

  • Will

    My Mother took out a parent PLUS loan to pay for my education. i joined the US Army after college. I have served for 6 years now, making the required payments on my mothers’ behalf. The Government/Army can’t provide any forgiveness as the loan is in my mothers’ name, and she is not a veteran. Is there any loophole for this, where I could get things in my name, to utilize my VA benefits?

    • Hi Will,

      Thank you for your service.

      Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any ways to do this. There’s no way I’m aware of to transfer federal student loans to someone else while also still keeping them as federal loans.

      There is the possibility of transferring these loans from her name with a private lender, but they will no longer be federal loans if you do this. If you’re curious about that, you can read more here: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/refinance-parent-plus-loan-childs-name/

      I’m sorry I don’t have any solutions for you. If you have other questions, let me know.



      • Cornelias Derodréas Mcelrath

        question if youre still able to reply is there a way i can pay on my moms behalf and where would i pay as she got the loan without knowing much about it and now that i can pay it while im still in college working full time i would like to

        • Hi Cornelias,

          Thanks for your question. You could likely do this. It would first involve finding out who the lender or servicer is (if you don’t already know it). As far as I know, there aren’t any restrictions on someone else paying a loan on another person’s behalf.

          If you need help finding this loan, check this out: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/how-much-do-i-owe-in-student-loans/



  • Christy

    Can I start paying interest on my Parent Plus loan before my son is out of school (He is an incoming freshman this year)? How is that achieved? And if I do that, will I still be eligible for loan consolidation at the end of his schooling?

    • Hi Christy,

      Yes, you can do that. You’ll likely want to contact the student loan servicer to find out how they handle this. They typically don’t send bills since the loans are in deferment, but they can likely direct you to options in terms of sending a check or using a different payment method.

      To my knowledge, this has no impact on applying for either Direct Loan Consolidation nor student loan refinancing and consolidation at the end of your son’s schooling.

      If there’s anything else I can do to help, let me know.



  • Rich

    I’m in……they should at least lower the interest rates (Retroactive….including existing loans). When I first took out Plus loans, the interest rates were about 2%. Then all of a sudden it was 7.9% Variable for the student, and 7.9% Fixed for Parent Plus. I try and tell everyone I know to think twice about taking out Parent Plus student loans.

  • Francine Triebe

    Carla, have you gotten any help about this? I am noticing that some questions that are literally heartbreaking have no responses on here. I feel for you. I am on here trying to figure out what to do with my 68,000 loan that my girls can’t help me with. There is so much fast talk and financial jargon well over my head, that I am overwhelmed too. I pray a way is found for you!

    • Cornelias Derodréas Mcelrath

      I would like to post as a student whos parent got a loan i personally think every parent should turn down the option if it is over 10k as well being honest most of the grads or current students wont be able to pay it back me personally i dont like the feeling of not being independent so i joined the national guard got a fulltime job as well as still doing full time college so that i can pay the loan off before i graduate so i basically do it myself and own my own degree

  • Francine Triebe

    I’m in. I am so furious at the lack of support and the deaf ears of congress. I just emailed a senator, asking what exactly the end game is on this whole fiasco. Your child went to a good school…I’m sitting with a ridiculous $68,000 of debt from my daughters going to ITT.
    Yes, stupid ITT. And neither got a job in their field of study.

  • Rene

    I’m in. I took out parent plus loans from 2006 to 2010 at 8% to help pay for my daughter’s education. She went in for a nursing degree, and after two years the school changed her major to Psychology. Needless to say, she has a bachelor degree in Psychology, but working in customer service. Anyway, my loan went from $50,000 to $80,000 now. I was laid off for 2 and half years, and had my loans on forbearance. The interest have capitalized $30,000 in less than 6 years. I’m laid off again, at 61, and not been able to pay on my loan, can imagine how much my principal is going to be by the time I’m able to start repaying on it.

  • Hi Rory,

    Thanks for your question. You may be eligible, but it’s a bit tricky with Parent PLUS loans. The only way to potentially be eligible is to make sure the loan is consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan first. Parent loans are only eligible for Income-Contingent Repayment. This would be the only possible repayment option as staying on a Standard 10-year repayment would result in paying off the entire loan balance before any forgiveness can be granted.

    It’s important to note that consolidating any loan into a Direct Consolidation Loan would restart the count of eligible payments for PSLF.

    Does this explanation make sense? If you have other questions, let me know.



  • Aaron McClure

    Hi Jeff. I’m a little confused on #1 and #3. I am a full time state employee, and have my own student loans. I’m in school, but plan to consolidate under REPAYE once I’m done. I also have a Parent PLUS loan for my son.

    My question on #1 is, how is it possible to consolidate a PPL into an FDCL? And if I were to do that, how would the payment(s) be calculated for the two sets? (I’m assuming I can’t consolidate both mine and the PPL’s into one FDCL). Would it be 10% of discretionary for mine (REPAYE), AND 20% for the PPL (ICR)… separately? Or would there be some sliding scale between 10 and 20% for the sum of the payments?

    Then, at the end of 10 years, would both loans be forgiven, assuming I meet all the criteria for Public Service Forgiveness?

    I’d appreciate any information you could give me.

  • KellyJennifer Braaksma

    Hello Jeff, I included $65K worth of Parent Plus loans in my Ch7 Bankruptcy. On the discharge notice it states that “student loans” are not eligible for discharge. Has anyone ever successfully argued that Parent Plus loans are not Student Loans and thus eliminated the debt?
    Thank you,

  • Sheri Clinard

    My husband and I both have parent plus loans in both our names totaling $124.000. Is there a low interest consolidation loan we can take out to make one payment?

  • Michele

    Hi Jeff, My husband & I have a Parent Plus loan out from our son I am Now on Permanent Disability how do we go about getting Disability Discharge? or can we? Thank You Michele

    • Hi Michele,

      I can’t say for sure if you’re eligible or not, but the best way to get started is on the Dept. of Ed’s website here: https://www.disabilitydischarge.com/

      If there’s anything else I can do to help, let me know!



  • RyneHambright

    Hey Jeff,

    Need your help here. We applied for a direct loan consolidation for my mom’s parent plus to get them into one loan through Great Lakes totaling 75,473.21. Today, I went to apply for income based repayment and it’s estimating monthly payments of $645. How is this correct? Her AGI is 12,589 and this payment is HIGHER than the monthly payment before consolidation.

    Any advice?

    • Hi Ryne,

      Thanks for your question. That does sound odd to me. One thing that’s worth noting is the only the Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) plan is available for Direct Consolidation loans that include Parent PLUS loans. Under ICR, the payment is either:

      1) 20 percent of your discretionary income or
      2) what you would pay on a repayment plan with a fixed payment over the course of 12 years, adjusted according to your income.

      Given this, I would still imagine the payments would be quite low based on these rules. In any case, I’d check with Great Lakes to see what’s up and make sure her income has been certified correctly.

      If there’s anything else I can do to help, let me know.



  • Katt G.

    I was basically coerced into accepting a Parent Plus Loan years ago to help my son get into college. Thankfully, my son decided it wasn’t for him and after 2 semesters dropped out. I only have a little over $4,000 to pay, but in my current situation it may has well be 4 million.

    During the time my son wanted to go to college, I was in the middle of trying to get disability ( I have a mild form of epilepsy). I was going through a divorce from my dead beat ex, and had 2 minor children. I didn’t have a job due to my seizures and was living with my parents who were helping my children and I out.

    The Parent Plus Loan representative I talked knew all this information about me yet kept insisting my son couldn’t go college without this loan. I told them I can’t work and have no job and I probably will never be able to repay them. After about an hour on the phone the representative convinced me that my credit score probably wasn’t good enough anyway and if I’m not approved that the college would help instead.

    Thinking that there was no way I would be approved, I was shocked when I received a letter “congratulating” me that I was approved this loan. So I was all the sudden I was saddled with a $4,000 debt that I had no idea how to pay back. My ex husband died several months after the divorce, so obviously I had no help from him.

    I’ve tried 4 times to get disability for my seizures, the last time I tried I was rejected I gave up. The stress and anxiety of going basically being out on trial because I dared to be born with a chronic condition was just too much to handle another time. I mean how dare I make my up mind before I was born to have a disability?! I must be beyond terrible and put on trial for it!

    Anyway, long story short – I ended up going to a state job rehabilitation program. (because I can’t find work I can do with my disability elsewhere) Where I was given a work trial at a sub-minimum wage (legal in Michigan, because Michigan is a horrible state.) workshop. But I only made about $2.50 an hour. (1980’s minimum wage). They are offering me more work there, but I would mostly be making sub-minimum wages. For two weeks of work my checks would average only about $90.00.

    Is there a way to get out of this loan if I have a chronic health condition can’t find gainful employment? Or least would they let me pay back on a greatly reduced scale?

    Thank you.

  • Lee Higgins

    I have a PPL for my son but he , unfortunately, was not able to graduate from college. He was diagnosed with 2 learning disabilities, one of which was a severe LD in math. The recommendation was that the school swap out the required math for a different math class- a business type math or a conceptual type math, one that testing had shown he might understand better, and the college refused to do so. The interest rate on the loan is 7.8% and I would like to refinance but I have read that the student has to have graduated. Is that true? And what does that matter if I am the one making the payments? I have never missed a payment and always pay on time with auto-pay. He also has loans that have been put in deferment because he cannot afford the payment. Interest rate vary on them with the highest on 2 of them being 6.8%. I guess he can’t refinance them either? Thanks for any information you are able to offer, Lee

  • Hi James,

    If your parents are retiring and are on income-contingent repayment, their payments should adjust based on their income. Note that ICR payments capped by the amount of a fixed payment on your loans over a 12-year term if this monthly payment amount is less than 20% of discretionary income. You can check out our ICR Calc here: https://studentloanhero.com/calculators/income-contingent-repayment-calculator/

    Here’s a helpful article that explains more about this: http://www.fastweb.com/financial-aid/articles/people-retiring-with-student-loans-may-save-money-with-income-based-repayment

    If you have other questions, let me know.



  • Hi Wanda,

    Thanks for your question. It sounds like an income-driven repayment plan may be your best option. Have you looked into this? It can help you reduce your payments and eventually get forgiveness. You can learn more here: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/complete-guide-income-driven-repayment-plans-federal-student-loans/

    I hope this helps. If you have other questions, let us know.



  • RyneHambright

    Hey Jeff,

    I actually posted here a few months ago. Need some MAJOR help here.

    So my mom had right at 75k in Parent Plus Loans. The only way that we could get her payment plan to be manageable was to consolidate them and go to the ICR plan, which she was approved for. The problem is, at 8.125%, her DAILY accrued interest rate is $16, meaning every month she gets charged around $525 in interest. We’re at a real cross roads here where she is considering taking out a private loan under a bank so she can 1. get a lower interest rate (hopefully around 6%) and 2. we can actually pay SOMETHING on the principal every month, not just the interest. What are you thoughts on this? Are we making a mistake? I thought the relief that would come with the ICR plan is that, even if my mom was on it for the full 25 years, it would be forgiven. But Great Lakes says that if she discharges the loan after making at least 300 payments during the 25 year period, she will STILL have to take the discharge as taxable income. With the balance she has, and the rate that she’s at, her accountant estimated that that could be over 50k! Just looking for some outside advice before we make a final decision.

    • Hi Ryne,

      Thanks for your question. That’s definitely a tough spot to be in. Unfortunately, ParentPLUS loans can just be tough with such high interest rates.

      Typically, we advise borrowers to compare the total amount paid on each plan option. So what would be the total amount paid on ICR vs. the total amount paid by refinancing?

      Obviously, there are some tradeoffs to refinancing a federal loan, such as limiting the monthly payment amount.

      Yes, it’s true that borrowers are currently considered on the hook for forgiven balances as taxable incomes. That can definitely throw a wrench in things.

      Our calculators may be able to help provide some math-based help here (though it sounds like the accountant is also on it)



      Other than that, it’s basically a personal choice on what you’re most comfortable with.

      Best of luck, and let me know if there’s anything else I can help with.



  • Brianna

    ME. I have currently have $130K in my name and $110 my mom took out as a Parent PLUS. I graduated in 2015 and have been making full payments since. I work in government so my $130K loans will be forgiven in 2025 so long as Trump doesn’t screw me over. HOWEVER Fed Loan said my Parent PLUS loans have to be based off my parents’ COMBINED income, EVEN THOUGH it’s only in my Mom’s name AND EVEN THOUGH I’m making the payments on them, as a recent grad at a low city government salary. IN ADDITION, they don’t qualify for Loan Forgiveness because it’s in my mom’s name (she doesn’t work in gov) EVEN THOUGH I’m making 100% of the payments. I went to a public college for undergrad and grad school, both degrees required for my field of work. I’m making payments and the balance isn’t going down AT ALL…how does any of this make any sense?