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-   -   Severe learning disability and student loan debt (http://www.mothering.com/forum/312-frugality-finances/1402341-severe-learning-disability-student-loan-debt.html)

Red 05-22-2014 06:51 PM

Hi all. I haven't been here in some years. All my babies became adults and I've been wandering the land of grown-ups. :)

 

But I'm back for some advice. I made a horrible mistake and one of my children is paying for it. I believed that my dd was capable of more than she is.

 

When she graduated from HS, she was not accepted at any of the 5 schools she applied to. She was heartbroken so when a letter came from a school saying she was accepted, we rejoiced! We were confused. She hadn't applied to that school, had she? It was a small private school, more than we could afford. But without more schooling and the social opportunities college would provide, we thought she was going to spend her life hoping to do well at McD's or Walmart.

 

So she took out loans and we co-signed them. And she tried. But her disabilities are more severe than I realized and by her second year, she was in trouble.

 

Shortly after she left school my husband was diagnosed with a particularly nasty type of prostate cancer, which ate through our savings. Then, when he retired (sorry  this is a long story!) we were told hs union rep had made a mistake and his pension would be a 1/4 less than we'd been told.

 

So, we're in tight financial shape. We help out with a few of her bills, but DD can't pay her student loans and EVER have an apartment or make a car payment or afford a life. She works. Two jobs. But she winds up with 50-60 hours a week and she'd need 75 to pay the loans and afford a small, cheap studio if she rode the bus and we still helped out. And she often winds up switching jobs or taking seasonal jobs.

 

Right now she's living in a basement room in another DD's house and that DD also helps her with day to day stuff, meals, budgeting, paying the loans.

 

So, I've totally screwed up my DD's adult life. How do I help her? Her disability is multi-faceted and severe, but invisible. She's overwhelmed by the number of bills, the amounts due, dealing with the loan companies, so she shuts down. If she was disabled and received SSI-I hate to think that's her future- would that help with her loans?

 

The worst part of this is if she hadn't gone to college, she'd have the same jobs. But without the debt, she'd be perfectly capable of handling a apartment and regular stuff, with some support. The debt is literally crippling her.

 

 

Any advice, any help is welcome. I feel very guilty, so please be gentle.


blessedwithboys 05-22-2014 08:47 PM

You're a great mom.  I would just simply stop paying the student loans.  


Red 05-22-2014 09:01 PM

You're giving me heart palpitations. What happens if you just don't pay? Won't they...IDK, ruin my shaky credit? Hers is shot anyway. Chase us down and take away...Ok, I can't imagine. What can they do to me? Or her?

 

I love that you're raising children, not chickens. I have 30 hens, no kids. At home anyway. :)


marilyn612 05-22-2014 11:18 PM

Since you co-signed if she doesn't pay them they become yourresponsibility...to my inderstanding. What about a consumer proposal? Have you spoke with any debt management companies?

Soul-O 05-23-2014 01:07 AM

Student loan companies have income based repayment programs. Your DD's payment should be based on her monthly income and/or adjusted gross income from her last tax return. If you haven't already done so, contact her loan servicer about these programs. She can also apply for a temporary cessation of payments called a forebearance.

mar123 05-23-2014 08:27 AM

Contact the companies and arrange a repayment plan she can afford. Since you co-signed they will become your responsibility if she doesn't pay them. If you don't pay them either, then her and your credit is trashed and they will take any tax refund you would ever get until the debt and fees are paid off. I would first ask for a forbearance; give her time to catch her breath and make a plan (they are typically 6 months. although we had a total of 18 months forbearance available to us over the life of the loan). After that is over, arrange a plan she can afford. Even if she's paying for the next 25 years, if it's doable, it's worth it (after 25 years, they are discharged from what my loan company tells me).


Polliwog 05-23-2014 09:28 AM

Absolutely help he get set up for income-based repayment.

Red 05-23-2014 04:59 PM

Is it possible I somehow missed the option of income based repayment?

 

We've done forbearance. A few times. The problem is that she simply can't make enough to cover her loans and have a life. We're paying off one small one for her know and then we'll take another.

 

I really appreciate your ideas and help. I feel a little less panicked.


Polliwog 05-23-2014 05:48 PM

https://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-based

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/06/07/income-based-repayment-everything-you-need-know

Red 05-23-2014 07:11 PM

Thank you! :)


Polliwog 05-24-2014 05:46 AM

You're welcome. I'm sorry you didn't learn of it sooner.

IdentityCrisisMama 05-24-2014 04:11 PM

Hi, Red. I remember your UA from way back.  I'm sorry to hear about your DC's troubles with school.  I had a nephew who took a ROTC scholarship to a school that he probably should not have been admitted to because he could not keep up with the course work. When he decided that it was too much for him he was faced with thousands and thousands in loans to re-pay. It was just such a sad thing to watch. 

 

If I ruled the world scholarships and loans given to students who have trouble completing school/having a career would be forgiven. Of course I don't rule the world....

 

There is a lot about student loans in the papers these days. Elizabeth Warren is working for more student-friendly systems. 

 

I suggest looking into income dependent loans or even some sort of consolidation or disability forgiveness. IME, reach out, ask for help, try to find solutions. Keep it in writing. Send cc's. A paper trail that you are trying to solve this will go a long way. If you are in the position to contact a debt/loan lawyer, I would consider it. 

 

Good luck and keep us posted -- my guess is that there are some options out there for your DC and that they are only hard to find because...well, the system doesn't want everyone to know about them. 


happyhats 05-28-2014 07:03 PM

Could she get ssi? I dont know the particulars but a disabled friend of mine td me her student loans were forgiven upon getting ssi. You may want to contact a disability attorney.

FloridaBorn 06-12-2014 03:10 PM

I agree with happyhats. Get your daughter on disability and her debt will be forgiven. People -can- still work on disability, they just have a limit on what they can earn.

sillysapling 06-16-2014 06:27 AM

I hope you can get this sorted out. I agree to check the "pay as you earn" options. They aren't very well publicized, I think in part because the loan companies risk losing money if people choose it- your daughter's loans should be forgiven after 20 years of payment like that, even if she hasn't paid off all the money she owes them. Read it carefully, though, I'm not totally sure how it works. It says that the loans can only be 10% of the person's income- but I don't know if that's all loans together or each individual loan (which would add up). You don't want to sign her up for something that'll cost her more than she's paying now.

Because people brought up SSI, does anyone have advice on how to get on disability? I just graduated from college and was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia that severely limits the number of jobs I can actually take. It looks like I don't qualify for SSI because I just graduted college and haven't had a proper job yet, but I'm having trouble finding work I can do because of fibro. I don't even know where to look to get answers. :/

Quote:

Originally Posted by blessedwithboys (Post 17634233)
You're a great mom. I would just simply stop paying the student loans.

Wow, this is the worst advice I've ever heard.

Either you're saying "Sure, you screwed over your daughter- but let her drown" (even thouhg, if she can't pay, they'll still suffer the consequences) or you're just utterly ignorant of what happens to people who don't pay their student loans. Not paying student loans is not a good idea, at all, our country allows loan sharks to destroy people. There's a reason that student loans have driven people to suicide in this country.


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