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My daughter is deeply in debt. And I had cosigned her college loans. How can I get her free help to manage all this?

Middleburg, PA |

$40000.00 of her loans could be going to litigation soon. I work three jobs just to take care of myself. If I have to psy more to help her I will lose my house, if I can't make the monthly mortgage.
I ask them to put the 40000.00 and all her loans into one and have her pay 1 pymt per month. They won't do that.
We have until the end of this month.

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Attorney answers 4


Her bankrupcy won't get her out of the student loan obligation, but will discharge all other unsecured debt that isn't priority. If she is not paying her student loans, they WILL come after you. When she meets with a BK attorney, you should go with her so you can ask about your possibility of filing BK. Good luck.

Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662. Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 26 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.


I agree with Ms. Gruber. You and your daughter need to meet with a BK lawyer. Not only will the unsecured debt be eliminated through a BK, but your lawyer can help you look into several option to help deal with the student loans.
Every decent BK lawyer will offer you a free consultation. Don't hesitate because you think you can't afford an attorney. It's likely that you can't afford not to see an experienced BK lawyer.
Good luck.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Jacques H. Geisenberger Jr.

Jacques H. Geisenberger Jr.


I agree with all that you say except the statement that "Every decent lawyer will offer you a free consultation." Let me remind you that a lawyer's stock in trade is time, and most times you get what you pay for.


Free legal help is generally available for people who are indigent or otherwise victims of the actions of others. If your daughter is working or able bodied, she may not be eligible to get free advice, and in any event, those that provide free legal advice are generally educated & experienced only in issues involving the indigent.

If she wants an independent inexpensive review of her financial situation, she may wish to begin by obtaining credit counseling and/or consulting with a local bankruptcy attorney. Hope this perspective helps!


Does your daughter have federal student loans or private student loans? Use the following strategy if your daughter has federal student loans:

First Step – Determine What Type of Loan You Have

The most efficient way to find out what type of government loan is through the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). The NSLDS is the Department of Education’s central database for student aid. This information is available on the Internet at
Borrowers can also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID or 1-800-730-8913 (TDD). The Center’s counselors can help borrowers, over the phone, to figure out what types of loans they have.

Second Step – Apply for Income-Based Repayment (OLD IBR)

The IBR plan went into effect for Direct Loan and FFEL borrowers on July 1, 2009. Borrowers who repay through the IBR program will have their remaining balances forgiven after twenty-five years and their monthly payment will be decreased to reflect their current income and family size. Borrowers must have a partial financial hardship to repay through IBR.
As of September 26, 2012, Direct Loan program and some FFEL program borrowers who wish to apply for IBR on-line will be able to go to a single website, The website interfaces with the National Student Loan Data System and the Internal Revenue Service to help borrowers submit electronic IBR applications. The website is also designed to allow borrowers to fulfill their annual income documentation requirement on-line. Further information explaining IBR is available on the Internet at


Third Step – Apply for Pay As You Earn (NEW IBR)

As of December 21, 2012, recent college graduates with federal student loans can apply to lower their monthly payments using the Pay As You Earn plan. This new repayment plan has a lower monthly payment cap than the more widely available Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan. Pay As You Earn also provides forgiveness after 20 years of payments, rather than 25 years in IBR.
Eligible borrowers can elect to pay 10% of their discretionary income and be eligible for forgiveness after twenty years. Eligible borrowers are defined as people who were new borrowers in 2008 or after and received a disbursement of a loan in 2012 or after.

Fourth Step – Apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

A borrower must be under the Income Based Repayment (IBR) plan to qualify for the PSLF program. The PSLF Program was established to encourage individuals to enter and continue in full-time public service employment by forgiving the remaining balance of their Direct Loans after they have made 120 qualifying monthly payments after October 1, 2007 while employed full-time by a public service organization.
A Public Service Organization is defined as employment with a federal, state, or local government agency, entity, or organization or a non-profit organization that has been designated as tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). The IRS has a searchable database of 501(c)(3) organizations at
Public service jobs include, among other positions, emergency management, government, military service, public safety and law enforcement (police and fire), public health (including nurses, nurse practitioners, nurses in a clinical setting, and full-time professionals engaged in health care practitioner occupations and health care support occupations), public education, early childhood education, social work in a public child or family service agency, public services for individuals with disabilities or the elderly, public interest legal services.

John J. Carney

John J. Carney


Great answer!

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