Ask Money

What happens to student loan debt if the borrower dies?

Marketplace Staff May 29, 2013

Question:

I had four life changing events happen over a lifetime which kept me either deferred or paying minimum payments. I have paid $30k on a$18 k loan and still owe $5k. I am 63 years old. I have a grand total of $44k saved — $5k in a roth and 39k in an ira. I am deferred yet again. I am NOT going to pay another dime… but am told I will have my wages garnished. What is crazy is this debt isn’t even mine. It is a parent plus. What are they going to do follow me to the graveyard and demand payment from my heirs?

Response:

Paddy Hirsch May 19, 2013 Senior Editor, Marketplace
Hi there, I’m sorry to hear about your complicated situation with this loan! The answer to your question is quite simple, however. The lenders will not follow you to your grave — or at least they won’t go after your heirs: ParentPLUS loans are discharged if the borrower dies. Click here for more: http://www.parentplusloan.com/repayment/forgiveness.php 

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.