Hi, and thank you for reading this. I have a 80,000 Parent Plus loan that I will need to start paying this year after my daughter graduates. I am remarried and my husband is a retired Veteran, collecting a military pension, but he is still working until he reaches 65 at another job. I am working too, but plan on retiring when I am 60 to move south with my husband for retirement. I have a condo in my name, which we will sell in order to move down south, but the parent plus loan is freaking me out, as it is so much money. My daughter has her student loans and will help with the Parent Plus loan, but I am concerned about being able to finance a house when we move, and afford the payments of the parent plus loan. I do work for a park district, which is not for profit, but I think you have to be currently working to get the public service status on the loan. Please advise my best strategy for my future.

Terry Says:  I wish I had better news for you.  First, you could potentially be entitled to the public service forgiveness of a PLUS loan, if they considered your work with a park district to be part of that public service.  Parents with PLUS loans can get into that program.    BUT, first you must have made 10 YEARS  (120) on time payments!!  So I don’t see this as helping your retirement plans any time soon.

The bottom line is that you can’t afford to retire at age 60!  That doesn’t mean you have to stay in your current job.  But it does mean that when you move south you will need to find another job, earning enough to pay down that PLUS loan as fast as possible.  It’s great that your daughter will help — but I’m sure she has her own challenges with her Federal student loans.  You signed for this obligation and there is no way out.

I do have one suggestion.  Contact www.SoFI.com — where they may be able to refi that PLUS loan at a lower rate.  But you’ll need a job and regular income to qualify for that kind of refi.  It might save you a bit on the interest, as  PLUS loans carry notoriously higher rates.

Your other choice is to use the money from the sale of the condo to pay off the PLUS loan, saving a fortune in interest.  Then you’ll have to rent down south until you can save up enough for a down payment on a new home.