03/18/2014 11:55 am ET Updated May 18, 2014

Sallie Mae Won't Let Me Go. I'm Divorced.

Huffington Post Reader Question

Dear Steve,

I have a student loan that I got back for my son by Sallie Malle. He was working they would take a payment as long as he worked.

This loan was in my ex-wife's name too but we divorced. The school had put me responsible for it cause he lives with me and I can not afford this $14,000 debt.

Why do they pay nothing now for my son and do not talk to me?

What can I do it has come to the point of attaching wages. I am need of help.


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Dear James,

There is so much going on here with your question that all I can do is give you my best guess what has happened.

First, just because he lives with you does not simply make you responsible for the debt. That would be an incorrect assumption.

It sounds as if your son has a loan from Sallie Mae or that is being serviced by Sallie Mae. That we know for certain.

What we don't know for certain is what kind of loan it is. Is it a private loan or a federal loan? That makes a huge difference.

If I had to give you my best estimate of what is going on here it sounds as if your son had a federal loan which you and your ex-wife cosigned for. He may also have had a deferment right after school so no payment was initially due.

As the cosigner you are responsible for the debt. Period. Cosigners seem to always think they are doing a good thing by helping someone get a loan. What cosigners don't realize is they have 100% of the liability for the loan and 0% of the benefit. Lenders ask for cosigners to go after in case the borrower can't pay.

The statement about attaching your wages is what makes me think this is really a federal loan since a private loan could not attach your wages without suing you first.

I'm going to give you this link to my free DIY guide but in your case it sounds like you could really use some coaching or guidance in getting through this, so click here.

I'm most concerned about you getting ripped off by one of the fly-by-night student loan assistance companies out there. Read this guide to know what to watch out for.

What I know for certain from your question is that while the question is a bit murky, there is always some solution possible for student loan problems. We just need some better clarity on the exact type of loan so I can get you headed down the right path.


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