03/18/2014 02:34 pm ET Updated May 18, 2014

Is There Any Hope for Paying My Parent PLUS Loans?

Huffington Post Reader Question

Dear Steve,

parent plus loans..2 children, now coming due/working full time but loan payments are out of sight. All federally funded, no private.

All student loan issues out I read are about the student.. I haven't seen anything about the parents burdened with $200k in loans, surely I am not the only one!!

The I have been paying on the first student's loans for a year, appx $900 a month. The 2nd is on forbearance until 3/15 but payments will about the same. The is no way I can afford that.. is there any help or is my only recourse to pay till I day and let my life insurance pay them off?

Destitute in Dallas

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Dear Des,

Well the good news is there are options. Probably the best is to use the calculator at the bottom of this page to see what your payment would be for a Direct Loan to consolidate the Parent PLUS loans and then look at the Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) option.

In the ICR your payment will be based on your adjusted gross income, your family size, and the total amount of your Parent PLUS loans that you wrap up in a Direct Loan; and the lesser of the amount you would pay if you repaid your loan in 12 years multiplied by an income percentage factor that changes with your annual income or 20 percent of your monthly discretionary income. How's that for government clarity? Trust me, use the calculator, it's easier to figure out.

After 25 years of payments at this lower amount the remaining balance is forgiven. At this time the balance forgiven is taxable if you are solvent but whispers are this will change.

If this all seems too much to deal with then click here.

Keep in mind there are a number of student loan assistance scam companies sprouting up so be careful. This guide will show you what to avoid.


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