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

parent plus loan

Most student loan articles focus on struggling college graduates who can’t repay their debt.

But what about their parents? We hardly ever hear about the moms and dads who are stuck repaying Parent PLUS Loans for children who obtained undergraduate degrees.

Parent PLUS loan debt currently stands at about $77.8 billion. Even worse, these types of loans have the highest interest rates among all federal student loans. For the 2016-17 school year, the rate is 6.31%, and older Parent PLUS loans could have rates above 7%.

So what can parents do to ease the strain on their finances? Here are four ways to get your Parent PLUS debt under control this year.

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 income-driven repayment plans.

The federal government offers four types of income-driven repayment plans, but Parent PLUS loans are only eligible for one: Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR).

ICR caps monthly student loan payments at 20 percent of the borrower’s discretionary income. Keep in mind that discretionary income is usually less than gross income earned.

Parents generally have to pay a larger chunk of their discretionary income with this plan, but these payments can still be less than the other options. This is helpful if you hope to free up some extra cash flow each month.

One advantage of ICR is that you’ll be eligible for Parent PLUS loan forgiveness after you make payments for 25 years. However, spreading payments out over such a long period can cost you more in interest overall. Plus, you might also be subject to additional taxes on the amount forgiven.

To qualify for ICR, your Parent PLUS loan needs to be consolidated first by the Department of Education into a Direct Consolidation Loan. This is the standard federal student loan consolidation option. To apply for a Direct Consolidation loan, you should contact your student loan servicer.

2. Parent PLUS Loan consolidation and refinancing

Pros: Could decrease high interest rates on Parent PLUS Loans.

Cons: Requires borrowers to qualify based on credit and income. Borrowers could also lose some flexibility afforded by federal student loans.

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

Lenders 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!

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. Once you complete refinancing, your only other option is to refinance again if you want to change your repayment terms.

You need to determine whether a lower monthly payment and the interest savings are worth giving up some of the federal protections. Many parents choose to refinance Parent PLUS loans to improve their finances so they can rescue their retirement.

Refinancing Parent PLUS loans includes another option: refinancing your Parent PLUS loans into your child’s name. With this option, your child becomes responsible for their debt, and you no longer need to make payments. It can take the pressure off you, especially if you have been struggling.

Refinancing to a child’s name is currently offered by lenders such as SoFi, Laurel Road, 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 (PSLF) is a federal program available to certain public service employees, such as those in government and nonprofits fields. This program forgives all federal student loan debt after 120 qualifying payments (typically 10 years).

Many graduates on track to take advantage of Public Service Loan Forgiveness do so with income-driven repayment plans. Just keep in mind that most of these plans aren’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 PSLF, make sure you qualify. All of the rules that apply to other federal student loans typically apply to Parent PLUS loans as well.

As 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 to forgive after the repayment period. This can do more harm than good if you pay a bunch of extra interest yet receive nothing in return.

4. Standard Parent PLUS Loan repayment

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

Cons: Could be less affordable due to higher monthly payments.

If you’re paying off a Parent PLUS loan, 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 monthly payments. Stay on track, and you’ll have the loans paid off in 10 years.

The problems with standard Parent PLUS loan repayment only surface if you can’t afford to make payments. In such cases, consider pursuing another repayment option instead of risking default.

It’s worth noting that graduated repayment and extended repayment options are also available. However, these often aren’t preferable to the other options listed here. They generally add more time and interest to your overall repayment. You can get a lower monthly payment now, but the added interest costs are generally high.

Take control of your Parent PLUS loans

No matter which repayment method you choose, all student loans are eligible for a student loan interest tax deduction of up to $2,500. However, since this deduction is subject to several rules (including income caps), consider consulting with a tax professional to make sure you qualify.

Overall, the best option for you will depend on your situation. But the right choice is typically the one that allows you to pay off your student loans as quickly as possible — with the lowest cost.

OUR TOP 6 PICKS FOR STUDENT LOAN REFINANCING

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print, understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.


TOP PICKS
Variable Rates
Variable-rate student loans have interest rates that can change during the repayment period. Interest rates may increase or decrease at any time and typically do so based on changes to LIBOR. Often, the introductory rate on a variable-rate loan is lower than that of a fixed rate loan, though it has the potential to increase later. Learn more
2.79% - 6.72%2.79% - 6.72%2.57% - 6.19%2.99% - 6.42%2.79% - 8.14%
Fixed Rates
A fixed-rate student loan guarantees a single interest rate that does not change over the lifetime of the loan. Fixed-rate loans often have higher rates than the introductory rates on variable loans. However, borrowers have peace of mind knowing their monthly payments will always be the same amount. Learn more
3.35% - 6.74%3.35% - 6.74%3.35% - 6.39%3.95% - 6.99%3.35% - 8.24%
Terms
"Term" refers to the length of the loan, typically in years. In general, the shorter the term, the lower the interest rate and the higher the monthly payments. Longer terms will typically result in lower monthly payments but at a higher interest rate. Borrowers may select any term offered by a lender regardless of the current loan term. Learn more
5, 7, 10, 15, 205, 7, 10, 15, 205 to 205, 7, 10, 15, 205, 10, 15, 20
Soft Credit Check
A "soft" credit check allows a lender to check the applicant's credit and provide the applicant with an estimated interest rate without affecting their credit score. This is unlike a "hard" credit check, which may impact an applicant's credit.
Visit SoFiVisit CommonBondVisit EarnestVisit Laurel RoadVisit Citizens

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Transfer Parent PLUS From Parent to Child/Graduate
Many parents take out "Parent PLUS" loans to pay for their children to attend college. Some lenders will permit the refinancing of those Parent PLUS loans from the parent's name into the name of the child/graduate.
Refi Parent PLUS Loans
Indicates whether or not the lender allows parents who took out Parent PLUS loans on behalf of their children to refinance their loans.
Eligible Degrees
Our partners refinance student loans from both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Undergrad
& Graduate
Undergrad
& Graduate
Undergrad
& Graduate
Undergrad
& Graduate
Undergrad
& Graduate
Eligible Loans
Our partners refinance both private and federal student loans. Both types of loans can be consolidated to create a single payment.
Private & FederalPrivate & FederalPrivate & FederalPrivate & FederalPrivate & Federal
Min. Credit Score
This is the lowest credit score a lender will consider when determining borrower eligibility. While some lenders do not indicate a specific minimum score, they typically still evaluate a borrower's credit profile to determine eligibility. Learn more
Good or Excellent score needed660660660680
Min. Annual Income
The minimum annual income a lender is will consider for borrower eligibility.
No minNo minNo minNo min$24k
No Cosigner Required
If checked, this lender does not require that the applicant have a cosigner to apply.
Ability to Apply With a Cosigner
Applicants have the option to add a cosigner to meet eligibility requirements and/or get better rates and terms on their loan.
Visit SoFiVisit CommonBondVisit EarnestVisit Laurel RoadVisit Citizens

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS CONTINUED

Cosigner Release Offered (Existing Loans)
If the applicant's initial student loans had a cosigner, the applicant may have the option to refinance their loans solely in the borrowers name and "release" the original cosigner(s).
Cosigner Release Offered (Refinanced Loans)
If the applicant chooses to add a cosigner to the refinanced loan, the applicant may have the option to "release" that cosigner from the refinanced loan at a later date.
Borrower Can Be Delinquent on Current Student Loans
If the borrower's student loans are currently delinquent (but not in default), they may or may not be eligible to refinance.
Borrower Can Apply While Still Enrolled in School
If a borrower is currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate degree program and has not yet earned a degree, the borrower may or may not be eligible to refinance.
Borrower Must Currently Be Employed
If a borrower is currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate degree program and has not yet earned a degree, the borrower may or may not be eligible to refinance.
Yes(or signed job offer)Yes(or signed job offer)Yes(or signed job offer)Yes(or signed job offer)Yes
Minimum GPA Required
Our partners currently refinace student loans regardless of a borrower's graduate or undergraduate GPA.
No minNo minNo minNo minNo min
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REFINANCING PRODUCT INFORMATION

Min. Lending Amount
The minimum student loan balance a borrower must currently have to refinance with the lender.
$5k$5k$5k$5k$10k
Max. Lending Amount
The maximum student loan balance a borrower must currently have to refinance with the lender.
No Max$500kNo MaxNo Max$90k undergrad
$350k grad
Auto-Pay Interest Rate Reduction
Lenders may offer an interest rate reduction for setting up automated monthly loan payments. This reduction is typically already factored into the fixed and variable rates quoted above.
Yes0.25%Yes0.25%Yes0.25%Yes0.25%Yes0.25%
Average Savings
The average amount borrowers have saved by refinancing with this lender. Unless indicated otherwise, values shown are over the lifetime of the loan. See each lender's website with more details on how this figure is calculated.
$316/month$24,046$21,810$20,200$128/month
Unemployment Protection/Benefits
If a borrower loses their job through no fault of their own, they may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits with some lenders. If approved for this benefit, the lender will put the borrower's loans into forbearance, suspending their monthly loan payments. Unpaid interest will continue to accrue and will be capitalized (added) onto the borrower's principal balance. Borrowers typically have the option to make interest-only payments during this period in order to prevent accruing interest from increasing their balance.
(up to 12 months)
(up to 12 months)
(up to 12 months)
(up to 12 months)
(up to 12 months)
Interest-Only Payment Option
Some lenders may allow you to make interest-only payments for a period of time during your repayment period.
Discharge Due to Death
Some lenders may discharge the student loan upon the death of the borrower.
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REFINANCING PRODUCT INFORMATION CONTINUED

Origination Fees
Origination fees are added expenses that lenders may charge for granting a new loan.
NoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Prepayment Penalty
Prepayment penalties are fees charged by lenders for paying off the balance of the loan before its scheduled pay-off date.
NoneNoneNoneNoneNone
State Residency
Some lenders may not refinance student loans for residents of certain states.
Any except residents of NVAny except LA, ME, RI, or NVAny except AL, DE, KY, MS, NV, RIAnyAny
Previously Defaulted (Now Rehabilitated) Loans Eligible
Indicates whether or not the lender allows loans that were previously in default, but have now been rehabilitated, to be refinanced. Loans currently in default are generally not eligible for refinancing.
Visit SoFiVisit CommonBondVisit EarnestVisit Laurel RoadVisit Citizens

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Avg. Time to Check Rate
An estimate of how long (on average) it will take for a borrower to simply check their refinancing interest rate. For lenders that offer a soft credit check, this will not hurt a borrower's credit score.
< 3 minutes< 3 minutes< 3 minutes< 3 minutes< 3 minutes
Avg. Time to Apply
An estimate of how long (on average) it will take for a borrower to fully complete a student loan refinancing application.
< 10 minutes< 10 minutes< 10 minutes< 10 minutes< 20 minutes
Apply on Mobile Device
Indicates whether or not a lender accepts applications from a mobile device.
Interest Is Tax Deductible
Indicates whether or not the interest paid on the refinanced student loan may be eligible for the student loan interest tax deduction (assuming all other eligibility requirements are met). Learn more
Personal Reference Required
Some lenders may require a personal reference in order to apply for student loan refinancing.
NoNoNoNoNo
Year Established
The year the student loan refinancing company was established.
20112011201320061828 / 2014for refi student loans
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* Average savings based on lender specific calculations. Please visit their site for more information.


Our Top 6 Picks for Student Loan Refinancing

Lender Rates (APR) Loan Types Terms Eligible Degrees Eligible Loans More Info
2.79% - 6.74% Variable & Fixed 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal Visit SoFi
2.79% - 6.74% Variable & Fixed 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal Visit CommonBond
2.57% - 6.39% Variable & Fixed 5 to 20 Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal Visit Earnest
2.99% - 6.99% Variable & Fixed 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal Visit Laurel Road
2.58% - 7.26% Variable & Fixed 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal Visit Lendkey Apply by phone:Start Application:
1-877-304-9306
2.79% - 8.24% Variable & Fixed 5, 10, 15, 20 Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal Visit Citizens Apply by phone:Start Application:
1-877-573-4829
Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print, understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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

  • Alexa Gonzalez

    My mother re-financed her parent plus loan through SoFi, which now makes it a Private Loan. However, in order for ME, the child, to get the tax benefit, we requested to transfer liability of the loan and put it in my name. As per SoFi, once you re-finance through their institution from the US Dept of Education, the loan is no longer eligible to transfer to me since it is a private loan. Are there any other institutions we can utilize to re-finance again in order to have the Loan in MY (the child) name.

  • Kris Dack

    HI There!
    I have over 120,000 in parent plus loans along with my own educational loans, that were recently consolidated. I am currently under the Graduated Income Plan, and struggling to make my 856.00 per month payment. It seems as I read that I could qualify for Income contingent, Could I have these payments based upon my sole income if I file separately this year??

    Thanks so much!

  • 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/

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Steve S.

    I have been paying for a parent plus loan and my son only attended college for one semester. It has been over 20 years and I still have over $9000.00 balance? How can I get out of this? I am paying $150 a month and I can’t afford this. My son has never paid a dime.
    Suggestions?

  • 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).

    https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/income-driven-repayment-q-and-a.pdf

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

    Best,

    Jeffrey
    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.

    Best,

    Jeffrey
    Student Loan Hero

  • Matt

    I have about 30,000 in federal loans (3.4-6.8% interest) and about 30,000 in Parent PLUS loans (7.9% interest). I plan to be living at home at least for the next 2 years which means I can throw as much money at my loans as I can before I take on more financial responsibilities. I currently have a serving job and I’m looking to pick up another job soon. Would it be wise to consolidate all of my loans to have one payment (i’ve read that you can consolidate PLUS with federal and I’ve read in other places that you cannot) or maybe consolidate just my federal loans and just my plus loans to have two payments? What do you think is my best option?

  • Michelle

    Will I have to repay my Parent Plus Loan if I am on disability?

    • Linda P. Smith

      Did anyone answer this question for you? I am in the same situation. Parent plus loan is due and we now live on disability

  • 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!

    Cheers,

    Jeffrey

    • Matt

      Thank you for your help Jeffrey!

      So from your response, I’m getting the impression that you don’t think it’d be wise to consolidate. But if I consolidate them, wouldn’t it be beneficial in that if I’m just paying on one payment after consolidation, I don’t have to worry about my other loans accruing interest while I’m making payments on another loan if I didn’t consolidate?

      Blessings,

      Matt

  • 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.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Beth J

    I consolidated my parent plus loans through American Education Services. My tax return shows minus income due to losses from a business. I had to close in the 2008 mortgage melt down. I am in forbearance and have been since 2012. is there any forgiveness for my loans and current situations?

  • Patricia Jansen

    I have deferred my daughter’s parent loans except for one. She went to college for 6 years and I now owe $150,000. This includes one year from my next daughter. Help! What is the best way to navigate college with two more children coming soon? I want them all to be able to attend college but we cannot get any aid. My second daughter was Valedictorian of her class and only received a $20000.00 scholarship. I don’t know if they will continue to give me loans for my other children. Also, I work for Head Start so could this help me with the nonprofit loan forgiveness?

  • 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.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • 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.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Pa Thoua Lee

    I didn’t understand what I was doing for my future when I accepted all the loan amounts offered to me in college. Part of my loans went to parent plus loans and the other to me. I intend on paying off the total amounts for both sets of loans because I went to school not them. Those under my name will likely be paid off via loan forgiveness if I become a rural counselor like intended. However, I am not sure what steps my parents should take so that the payment plans offered under their credit score/income/ etc. are affordable in my future budget. All the loans are in deferment now because I am in graduate school but that will end soon enough. I’ll be at $100,000 or so altogether at that point with loan amounts split 50/50. My parents don’t have the ability to work for public service and I don’t foresee them working for another ten years or more for those repayment plans to be an option. Can you point me toward the type of advisor to speak to about this that is in a brick and mortor setting? Preferablly free if possible.

  • Elizabeth Fisher

    Hello,
    I currently owe about $23,000 in student loans and my parents took out a parent plus loan. My dad recently took a $10,000 pay cut. My parents owe around $65,000 in parent plus loans. I’m trying to figure out a way to help them out but I currently do not have a high paying job. I’m about to start graduate school in the fall so I can eventually get a higher paying job. Is there anything I an do to help my parents out? They’re really struggling and I feel terrible about furthering my education while they get deeper and deeper into a hole. Should I give up schooling to help pay for the loans even though I do not make enough money? I really appreciate the advice.

    Sincerely,
    Elizabeth

  • Bob V

    Hi. I have a federal consolidated parent plus loan in 2002 with granite state management. I am 69 years old, retired with an AGI under $11,000. I have gone through all my forbearance and over the last two years they have let me use IBR. This year they stated I was not eligible and that ICR has to be with one of the Federal banks. Is there a way to reconsolidate to one of the federal banks providers or is there some other solution.

    Thanks

    Bob

  • 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.

    Cheers,

    Jeffrey

  • 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.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Lindsey

    The only way I could go to school was if we did the parent plus loan. I am almost done paying my portion and have been paying my moms from the begining. Its been ten years and I have only managed to pay like 5000 out of 20,000. After I went to school my mom did for 2 years so they suspended my payment till she was done…adding interest..then they mistakingly put me on income base 3 times! So ten years later i still have 15 thousand to pay. They automatically debit my account all different amounts each month…i feel like i was scammed from the moment I started college. I feel like i will pay this stupid loan forever. My monthly payment..right now…is 185! Its triple what my friend paid to go to for the same program! What happened!

  • 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.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • 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.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Alexis

    I just graduated and have been looking into my loan information. My parents took out a loan for me to go to school over the four years as well. They have more loan cost than I do now. I feel horrible guilt over this. Tried to put it in my name but I cannot, because the government says it is their responsibility and that i am seen as a “child”. Saw about the forgiveness thing, which my dad will apply for. However, after realizing it is 120 payments, i was not sure if this means he will have to put off his retirement for another ten years? Does none of the work he put into public service working for a state government for decades count for anything? He was thinking he could still retire, make the payments, and would qualify due to his history of work experience with them.

  • 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/

      Best,

      Jeffrey

      • 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.

  • Lex

    My dad took out a parent plus loan to help me through school. He now has more loans than I do, and I feel horrible about this. I plan to work for the government and then will qualify for loan forgiveness down the road, as i am currently struggling with thr loan i have. Because it is a parent plus loan, i cannot put this loan in my name and take on this responsibility because the government says it is on the parent and not the “child”. (Without this I wouldn’t have been able to go to college, this loan should not be my father’s burden). My father had plans to retire in two years. He does qualify for the public service forgiveness plan, as he works for the state. However, if he retires as he expected to be able to, will they not credit him for that time he has been with them, even if he makes 120/10 years of payments? Also, if this doesn’t work out, are there other loan forgiveness opportunities out there he might qualify for instead?

  • Brant Baker

    My wife’s parents took out a parent plus loan to put her through school. The total of the PLUS loan is almost $140,000 at 7.9% fixed rate not to mention a private loan of anther $30,000 at 6.4%. We are newly married and I have student loans of my own (about $40,000 at 5.6%). We are currently paying $1650 a month in student loan debt. Are there any refinancing or consolidation options that can help this situation between my fed loans and her parent plus loan. If possible I don’t want to move the parent plus fed loan debt into my name for the repercussions on my credit score, as I am hoping to by a house in the near future and would probably would not qualify for a reasonable mortgage with so much debt attached to my name. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  • 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.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • 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.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

    • 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.

        Best,

        Jeffrey

  • CSG

    My husband and I have taken out $450,000 in parent plus loans. We are in repayment now. Is the consolidation the only way to move to an income-based repayment? More than half of the loans are in my husband’s name. He is elderly and I’ve recently read that some parent plus loans are discharged after death. Is that true? I do not have original loan papers to refer to. How can I find out? I need all the advice I can get to deal with this enormous burden.

  • 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

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • 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!

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • 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.

      Best,

      Jeffrey

  • Sara Diaz

    My now ex husband took out a sizable PLUS loan for our daughter’s education, in his name. He is in default or forbearance, and hasn’t paid on it for at least 6 years. It appears he has no intention of doing so. When he dies, does the PLUS loan debt die with him, or will it pass to my daughter?

  • Billy

    I have parent plus loans that I took out for my sons education. When he started college both I and his mother worked. While he was in sophomore my wife became ill and has had to endure treatments for the last 3 years and is continuing treatments and is drawing disability. I was layed off then started working another job making a lot less. I signed the promissory note so they don’t look at my wife’s disability is there any other ways to lower payments.

  • Kyle Johnson

    Hi there, I’m wondering if one of the companies above can help us consolidate, or give us a loan at a decent interest rate. My dad has his Parent Plus Loan that he pays for monthly, and I have the loans I got through FASFA that I’m paying. What we’d like to do is consolidate the two somehow. This way we can create a manageable amount for both of us to pay off, and when I have extra cash, I can chip away at everything when I can.

  • 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!

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • madelyn

    Hi can I write off my parent plus loan on my income tax?or should I take home equity loan to pay off the entire balance

  • Karen Marrero

    My ex-husband had me take out Parent Plus loans totaling $65000 for our son while we were married. It is in my name and our Marital Settlement Agreement at our time of divorce stated that he would be paying this loan. I found out that he has not made payments in the last year. He makes in excess of $200000 as an attorney and I make less than $40000. Why isn’t there protection for parents like me to have this discharged?

  • DML

    My husband took out Parent Plus Loans for our 2 sons. We have approximately $240,000 in loans. I wish I’d never took these loans out. They both pay 7.9%. I went to see if I can lower the payment and I was told I need to go through StudentLoans.gov. Why is it that they loans are in my husband’s name but in order to consolidate they ask for both of our income as if we filed jointly married, etc. Why does my income have to be included, What options are available for consolidation? They have grouped together all 8 of my loans and will not split them up – this gets very confusing. I am not listed on any of these loans. I feel so bad for my sons having to start life out with over $100k in debt. The interest rate is ridiculous. There is no end in sight. I have my last child off to college this fall and I will NEVER take out another Parent Plus loan for her.

    • MB

      The same thing happened to me. My husband took out the loan and when we asked for an extension my income was considered. My name is not on the loan. This makes no sense to me.

  • Bonnie

    What happens if my parents default on their parent plus loans? They are retired and cannot make huge payments. So far they have been on forbearance but that ends next January. Will the government take their home? They borrowed $60,000 but with interest and forbearance the total is now near $90,000

  • Quinta53

    Have several Parent Plus Loans totaling 70K, been trying to talk to my servicer but first they said I qualified for Income Based plan, filled out all forms then they said I only qualified for 1 loan and now they want me to pay abut 800-900 a month which I can’t do, so I called them back and they tell me something else. I can’t get a straight answer from them so they said to refinance and I could change servicer. I was going to retire last year but kept working since my son (loans were for him) is seriously ill and I’m looking into seeing if he can be claimed as disabled. Don’t know what to do anymore but with medical expenses, working full time and all, I know I can’t keep this pace up…. Any advice?

  • 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!

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • 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!

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • 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!

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • 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!

    Jeffrey

  • 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!

    Best,

    Jeffrey

    • Ramona Clark

      When I consolidated it jacked my loans up to 30 years

  • 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.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • 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.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Ramona Clark

    Hi, I have 138K in parent plus loan debt. I am so angry, I got these loans for my daughter at Kent State University, and not one time was it mentioned that these loans were for 25-30 years, let alone the interest of 7.5%. Without any hope of forgiveness, unless you die. I’ll be 84 when they are paid off, so that could happen.
    I have been doing research on this, and Marsha Fudge, a congresswoman has introduced a new bill into congress, lowering the interest rate by 1% and making our loans eligible for income based or pay as you earn repayment plans. The down side on that is she just put it in for the current year and beyond. She did not consider making it retroactive for those who got earlier loans. My payments are 1-1.8K depending on which repayment plan I choose.
    I am interested in getting a very large group of PPL victims together to start a movement:
    *To educate future parents.
    *Get all the options for repayment offered, to students.
    *Lower the Interest rate.
    *After 120 regular payments, have loans forgiven.
    *Allow parents to take off ALL of the interest paid, regardless of income.
    The federal government makes alot of money off of our loans, sadly.

  • Carla Lavoy

    My daughter wanted me to take out an $63,000 Parent Plus Loan. I had just filed bankruptcy 3 years prior so she got a friend to endorse the loan and told me not to worry about it and she would make payments. Stupidly I agreed. The gentleman that endorsed the loan died 6 months ago and the bank now wants $68,000 from me. My daughter won’t make any payments and I am overwhelmed.

  • 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?

  • Jean Leo Malatesta

    I took out a PLUS loan for two of my children back in 2000 and 2002. I have been paying these loans forever! I am now paying off the last loan – $45,054.50, with a current principal balance of $22,551.99. I pay $470.00 a month. I have a part time job, which I will no longer have in a couple of months and my take home pay from my full time job is now lower due to increased costs for Employee insurance coverage and the fact that my company has not given out raises in 2 years. I am now divorced. I do not own a home, I rent. I want to pay this back, but this monthly payment of $470 is just too much for me now. I would like the payment lowered to a more manageable amount. I don’t qualify for Income based Repayment or Income Sensitive Repayment. Could I change to the Graduated Repayment Schedule? Will AES lower my monthly payment?

  • 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!

      Best,

      Jeffrey

  • 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.
    muncy@aol.com

  • 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.

      Best,

      Jeffrey

      • 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/

          Best,

          Jeffrey

  • 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.

      Best,

      Jeffrey

  • 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.

  • Rory McKenzie

    Hi Jeff. I’m a nurse who has worked the past 22 years full time for a non-profit hospital. I have a Parent Plus Loan, taken out to help pay my daughter’s college tuition, which I began to repay and have been consistent with payments since 2006. Am I eligible for loan forgiveness?
    Thanks in advance.

  • 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.

  • Rory McKenzie

    I’m a nurse working full time at a non profit for the past 30 years at the same job.
    I have a parent plus loan which I consolidated years ago and have been making uninterrupted payments since 2006.
    Am I eligible for loan forgiveness?

  • Samantha

    We have student loans for two children taken out in my husband’s name in excess of 200K. My husband and I both work for non-profit faith based educational organizations. We were both working and making enough to start to pay back the loans apprx 10 years ago. However, 8 years ago my husband lost his job and finally took a new job (in the same field) that paid considerably less. Then 6 years ago he had a brain tumor removed and was collecting social security disability. While he was unable to work, the loans were in forbearance. Last year, he was finally able to start work part time (again at a faith based educational institution). He went off SS Disability but is still making a quarter of his original salary when we got the loans. He is now 63 and I am 62. We want to start making payments again and have been working with our loan institution on an income based loan but they gave us a monthly payment amount we still can’t afford. Is it based only on his income or our joint income? What recourse do we have?

    We also have a recent complication in that he is about to inherit $150K from his mother’s estate – which we want to use to pay back higher interest loans and towards the college loans. Can the loan institution “garnish” the entire amount? Can you recommend a Parent Student Loan counselor or other type of person we can work with to help us. In other words what type of person would handle this sort of thing – a lawyer (if so, what kind) ? financial consultant? Can you recommend someone we can talk to off-line?

    Thank you,
    Samantha

    • Autismmomx4

      Offer a lump sum settlement when you get the inheritance. See if they will accept it. Given your age they might accept a low amount. You could also check with an attorney who specializes in student loans.

  • 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.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • 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!

      Best,

      Jeffrey

  • 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.

      Best,

      Jeffrey

  • 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

  • wanda bravata

    Hi Jeff,
    I have about 19K in student loans for our son who graduated about 4 years ago. it is through Nelnet. I lost a job at one point and had to go on deferrment. Now i am back on track but the loans dont go down since it was deferred interest. my interest in pretty high about 8% since i took it out about 10 years ago. How can i get a lower interest or get this amount down. My hubby is on SS and I am paying about 270 a month. Any payment forgiveness, interest lowering etc.? thanks

  • wanda bravata

    Hi Jeff,
    I have about 19K in student loans for our son who graduated about 4 years ago. it is through Nelnet. I lost a job at one point and had to go on deferrment. Now i am back on track but the loans dont go down since it was deferred interest. my interest in pretty high about 8% since i took it out about 10 years ago. How can i get a lower interest or get this amount down. My hubby is on SS and I am paying about 270 a month. Any payment forgiveness, interest lowering etc.? thanks

  • James Hui

    What happens to the loan if your parents are retiring soon? Especially if you’re on an income contingent payment?

  • James Hui

    What happens to the loan if your parents are retiring soon? Especially if you’re on an income contingent payment?

  • 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.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • 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.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • 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)

      https://studentloanhero.com/calculators/income-contingent-repayment-calculator/

      https://studentloanhero.com/calculators/student-loan-refinancing-calculator/

      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.

      Cheers,

      Jeffrey

  • 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?

  • Chris Levanti

    Hi there,
    I have a Parent Plus Loan for $61,000. I work as a secretary in a public school and was told by a friend that I can apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. She referred me to a company called Graduate Service Center. Ever heard of them? I spoke with a rep and they said I will qualify under an ICR plan based on my salary. I asked him if it also takes into account my husbands salary because we file our taxes jointly and he said NO…does this sound right? They do charge fees to handle the paperwork. I know you can have this done for free but I also heard that hiring a company to stay on top of the paperwork is a good way to go if you feel you might make a mistake or forget to get your paperwork in on time which is usually annually. I just want to know if you have any insight as to this path I’m thinking about taking? I have gone back and forth with this in my head and I am so unsure.

  • Chris Levanti

    Hi there,
    I have a Parent Plus Loan for $61,000. I work as a secretary in a public school and was told by a friend that I can apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. She referred me to a company called Graduate Service Center. Ever heard of them? I spoke with a rep and they said I will qualify under an ICR plan based on my salary. I asked him if it also takes into account my husbands salary because we file our taxes jointly and he said NO…does this sound right? They do charge fees to handle the paperwork. I know you can have this done for free but I also heard that hiring a company to stay on top of the paperwork is a good way to go if you feel you might make a mistake or forget to get your paperwork in on time which is usually annually. I just want to know if you have any insight as to this path I’m thinking about taking? I have gone back and forth with this in my head and I am so unsure.

  • Chris Levanti

    Oh and one other question…if I do qualify for PSLF if say $20,000 is forgiven after the qualifying 120 payments is that amount considered taxable income?

  • Hi Chris,

    No. Unlike other forgiveness programs, forgiveness under PSLF is not taxable.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi Chris,
    Thanks for your question. I’m not familiar with that company. However, we do generally advise borrowers not to pay for help as anyone can access these programs for free without having to pay. In your case it’s likely as easy as contacting your servicer and submitting an application for ICR. If you haven’t already, you may need to consolidate into a Direct Consolidation loan.
    Also, regarding your husband’s salary, that’s incorrect. ICR does factor in your husband’s salary if you file taxes jointly. See page 4 of this Dept. of Ed. doc for more information: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/income-driven-repayment-q-and-a.pdf
    I hope this helps. If there’s anything else I can do, let me know.
    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Lisa Bernard

    I am in the process of refinancing/consolidating some Parent PLUS loans with soFi. Before I sign on the dotted line, I want to ensure that the same tax deductability applies to soFi loans as Federal PLUS loans. Please advise.

  • Billy Nguyen

    great artcile

  • Bob

    For forgiveness would it count if I took the loan out and my wife is the one in public service? Or would it have to be me. Thanks, I am going to be 85 or older before these loans are paid off!