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Can I sue my dropout daughter for the student loan I co-signed?

Pricey Penny,

Like plenty of dad and mom, I co-signed a scholar mortgage for my 18-year-old daughter when she began school this previous August. In October, I came upon that she stopped going to class and now not labored on any assignments. She moved out of the dorm and in with a girlfriend.

Now she has $20,000 scholar mortgage debt and no job. She is supposedly in search of a retail job in the intervening time. When her mortgage goes into reimbursement standing and he or she doesn’t make the funds, I assume that I can be held accountable.

I’m disabled and dwell on Social Safety Incapacity. I’m not in a position to repay her loans. Ought to I take her to courtroom if it comes all the way down to her not paying on the mortgage?


Robin Hartill
Robin Hartill [ The Penny Hoarder ]
Pricey A.,

Sadly, 18-year-olds don’t all the time make the wisest selections. That’s one purpose scholar loans get messy so shortly. Once you’re barely an grownup, it’s powerful to totally recognize the long-term penalties your selections could have not solely by yourself funds, however usually another person’s.

I’m afraid that you just’re appropriate that you just’ll be held liable for your daughter’s scholar mortgage. Once you agreed to co-sign, you turned simply as accountable for that debt as your daughter. And it’s additionally doubtless {that a} lender would come after you for it first. You could not have a lot earnings, however you continue to have greater than your daughter.

Because you co-signed, I’m assuming these are personal scholar loans. (Federal scholar loans sometimes don’t require a co-signer.) That makes this example even more durable, since your choices are way more restricted with a personal lender in contrast with the federal authorities.

You’d want to speak to an lawyer who focuses on contract regulation to find out whether or not suing your daughter can be an possibility. Nevertheless, even in the event you might take her to courtroom, I don’t assume that is the route you must take. Suppose you gained a judgment towards your daughter. It’s just about meaningless if she doesn’t have any cash so that you can acquire. In the meantime, you’re nonetheless on the hook for funds with the lender.

I’d be livid together with your daughter if I had been in your state of affairs. However realistically, you’re in all probability not going to get wherever together with your daughter in the event you’re beginning out from a spot of anger. Make it clear to her simply how dire her actions might be to your funds. Inform your daughter that her mortgage funds might go away you unable to afford fundamental bills and that her selections might destroy your credit score.

Strive to not deal with any disappointment you are feeling about her resolution to drop out of college right here. The objective right here is to get her to assist out with funds. Given the employee shortages we hear about day-after-day, your daughter ought to have the ability to discover an entry-level place if she’s really looking out.

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You could possibly supply to let her transfer again in with you so she will be able to begin making a dent in that $20,000 mortgage stability. That will not enchantment to her at first. However I’m guessing that with no job or earnings, she’ll put on out her welcome quick along with her girlfriend.

In the meantime, you could contact the lender and focus on your choices. Be ready to supply documentation displaying that you’ve got little earnings and are on incapacity. Whereas a personal lender isn’t required to make lodging, they might be prepared to take action in the event you can show your lack of ability to pay. Getting one thing is often higher than nothing, particularly if they will keep away from the time and expense of taking you to courtroom. The Nationwide Client Regulation Middle’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance program is an efficient useful resource for understanding your choices.

If all else fails, I’d recommend contacting an lawyer about whether or not it’s attainable to get this debt discharged. Scholar mortgage debt is never dischargeable, even in chapter. However it’s attainable in some circumstances in the event you can show undue hardship, sometimes on account of a incapacity.

You possibly can’t undo this resolution. However what you are able to do is be taught from it. Except you possibly can afford to take over funds, in no way are you able to afford to co-sign a mortgage.

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Robin Hartill is an authorized monetary planner and a senior author at The Penny Hoarder. Ship your tough cash inquiries to


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