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What happens to student loans if something happens to you?

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  • What happens to student loans if something happens to you?

    If one has multiple federal Stafford Student loans: FFEL and Direct and for whatever reason you cannot pay them and they default, can they go after relatives (spouses, parents) for the payment?

    My understanding is these loans don't have a cosigner.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    If you die, your federal student loans die with you.  If you are able-bodied and choose not to pay your student loans, the lender can go after your community property assets and may look at gifts to children, parents, friends, in-laws, out-laws, etc. as possible fraudulent transfers.  State laws for asset recovery and possibly bankruptcy may apply.

    If you become disabled or suffer another hardship so severe that you cannot pay back your federal student loans, then you're in for quite a protracted fight to prove that this is the case.

    Stay healthy, get sufficient disability and term life insurance, pay off your non-federal loans first while staying current on your federal loans and saving for retirement.  Make a lot of money, retire the student loan debt, then move on to socking away a lot each year and perhaps retiring your mortgage debt.

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    • #3
      If this is more than just a casual curiosity, you should speak with a qualified bankruptcy attorney in your area.

      Generally student loans last forever unless you die.  And some even survive death.  Getting them to go away during your life is a monumental task.

       

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      • #4
        Just pay them off. If you are trying to fight our government, good luck. If you really want to know read the promissory note you signed when you got the loan.

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        • #5
          Theyve garnished paychecks before.

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          • #6




            If this is more than just a casual curiosity, you should speak with a qualified bankruptcy attorney in your area.

            Generally student loans last forever unless you die.  And some even survive death.  Getting them to go away during your life is a monumental task.

             
            Click to expand...


             

            Which ones survive death? I don't know of any.
            Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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            • #7







              If this is more than just a casual curiosity, you should speak with a qualified bankruptcy attorney in your area.

              Generally student loans last forever unless you die.  And some even survive death.  Getting them to go away during your life is a monumental task.

               
              Click to expand…


               

              Which ones survive death? I don’t know of any.
              Click to expand...


              Private loans potentially may survive death.  Federal loans won't.

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              • #8




                They've garnished paychecks before.
                Click to expand...


                There are some cases where they're garnishing social security checks.  (Not SDI, but actual age 62 and up social security checks.)

                It's amazing to think that folks took out student loans as young (or not so young) college kids and managed to not pay off the student loan debt prior to drawing social security.

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                • #9










                  If this is more than just a casual curiosity, you should speak with a qualified bankruptcy attorney in your area.

                  Generally student loans last forever unless you die.  And some even survive death.  Getting them to go away during your life is a monumental task.

                   
                  Click to expand…


                   

                  Which ones survive death? I don’t know of any.
                  Click to expand…


                  Private loans potentially may survive death.  Federal loans won’t.
                  Click to expand...


                  You mean they're assessed against the estate. I wouldn't doubt there are some private loans that do that, but most (all?) of the refinanced ones with the companies on this site do forgive them at death.
                  Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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                  • #10













                    If this is more than just a casual curiosity, you should speak with a qualified bankruptcy attorney in your area.

                    Generally student loans last forever unless you die.  And some even survive death.  Getting them to go away during your life is a monumental task.

                     
                    Click to expand…


                     

                    Which ones survive death? I don’t know of any.
                    Click to expand…


                    Private loans potentially may survive death.  Federal loans won’t.
                    Click to expand…


                    You mean they’re assessed against the estate. I wouldn’t doubt there are some private loans that do that, but most (all?) of the refinanced ones with the companies on this site do forgive them at death.
                    Click to expand...


                    I've refinanced with three different companies on this site, and only one note (with Earnest) stated it could be forgiven at death.  Also if I recall, the language was ambiguous and it seemed like it was not guaranteed.

                    If you are only a borrower in one of the clearly defined federal loan programs which provides for forgiveness, that may be something to rely on, but since student loans have been a thing (they've existed for many decades now), there have been countless state, federal and private loan programs, refinance and consolidation arrangements, etc.  I would be very wary to count on some platitudes or general internet FAQ that your loans will evaporate upon death without looking directly at the terms of your current notes and other security agreements.

                    "Assessed against the estate" is the same thing as surviving death.  Additionally, any other signers or cosigners may still be on the hook.  Loans taken by parents may still be payable by parents.  Etc. etc.

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