Ask Terry Questions Retirement and student loans

Retirement and student loans

By Terry Savage on September 29, 2013 | College Savings / Student Loans

My daughter has a large amount of student loans that are considered private loans. Mainly from Citi bank and AES. We were able to buy our way out of some of them, but still have a large debt which WE are paying monthly, since she does not have the monthly income to pay these. We plan to retire in the next few years and would prefer to put our retirement money toward other things besides the loans.
Question 1: can retirement income such as 401k, IRA, Social Security or Teachers Retirement be garnish for these private loans?
Question 2: How can we avoid having our good credit spoiled if we are unable to keep up with the payments.
Please help

SAVAGE SAYS:Oh, I wish I could help.  But unlike Federal student loans, when you take out a private student loan you have signed for it personally.  I know you assumed your daughter would get a good job (tough these days) and pay off the loans from her earnings.  But YOUR name is on the loan, and if you default it will impact your credit.  What a shame after all these years of hard work.

The issue of whether your income — from any source — can be attached to pay for the loans is far down the road you don’t want to travel.  In most states, the body of your IRA is safe, but the income could be vulnerable.  I would suggest, as a start, to contact the nearest local agency of the National Foundation for Consumer Credit, by calling 800-388-2227.  They can tell you the law in your state.  There are some attorneys who say they will negotiate your debt for you — but beware, as this is a shady area.  If they ask you to stop paying, so you can set up a reserve (with which to negotiate, and to pay legal fees) beware!  That will ruin your credit beyond repair.

I wish I had better news for you.



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