Student DebtStudent loan debt can wreak havoc on an individual's finances, especially if that person falls behind on payments due to economic difficulties. One couple in California is currently in a situation like this; however, the student loan debt is not even theirs. The mother and father co-signed on their daughter's student loans when she went through nursing school, but their daughter passed away and now they are responsible to pay off those loans.

Couple Is Taking Care of Their Grandchildren, Too

Tragically, the couple's daughter died an early death due to liver disease. In addition to the loans, she left behind three children and the couple is raising their three grandchildren, too. To say that these California grandparents are busy and stressed would be an understatement. To make matters worse, their daughter's student debt, which started out at approximately $100,000 in loans, has since grown to $200,000 and the payments are more than $2,000 per month.

The father, who is employed as a minister, is not a wealthy man and the debt payments have crushed retirement dreams. In an interview, the wife said that the excruciating pain of their daughter's loss has been extreme, but the debt has only made it worse.

The father said that he and his wife were not informed that, in the event of their daughter's death, they would be responsible for her student loans. He said that the primary problem lies with the fact that his daughter's loans were private student loans. He said that these loans should be handled like federal student loans, where the loans are immediately forgiven in the event of a death. The man also said that student loans should be forgivable in the bankruptcy process, just like other types of debt.

Bankruptcy Might Still Help with Student Loan Problems

While bankruptcy cannot dissolve student loan debt at this time, there is currently a great deal of political momentum toward new legislation that could provide such an avenue for relief in the future. Still, in certain cases, if individuals are burdened by student loan debt in addition to other kinds of debt, bankruptcy might be useful to dissolve some of that debt to make the student loans easier to deal with.