My sister-in-law has decided she wants to take part time college classes so she doesn't have to make payments on her private student loan and her plan is to do this until she dies.

She graduated from college about 9 years ago so you can imagine what's she's racked up in interest and my father-in-law (her cosigner) is starting to get very nervous.

At what point will the private student loan holder stop putting up with this and make her make payments regardless of her taking 6 credit hours? I've tried googling this and so far come up with nothing.

  • 7
    Is she taking out more loans every year to pay for the 6 credit hours (I assume per semester), or is she paying that out of pocket? If she's paying out of pocket, how much would the payments be compared to the cost of the courses?
    – TTT
    Jul 28, 2021 at 3:52
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    Yikes. Perhaps her mother and father need to get on the same page first...or she could start putting $333/month towards the loan with a customized payment plan instead of throwing it away (unless she's actually getting closer to another degree with those additional courses?)
    – TTT
    Jul 28, 2021 at 4:10
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    Would she run out of courses eventually?
    – Lawrence
    Jul 28, 2021 at 10:47
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    What country/state is this? What's the interest on the student loans? Is she using those courses to work her way towards a degree, or is she purely doing it to postpone payments?
    – marcelm
    Jul 28, 2021 at 14:15
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    You may want to be careful posting this publicly. The fact she's openly only taking courses for deferred payment could be enough reason for the private issuer to begin collecting regardless of the original terms of the contract. They have to be met in good faith after all.
    – TCooper
    Jul 28, 2021 at 23:32

2 Answers 2


You mentioned that this is a private student loan, not a federal loan. There are no standard terms for private loans like there are for federal loans. To find out the deferral rules, you would need to read the terms of the loan.

Your father-in-law, as co-signer, should have access to these terms.

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    For the record, federal student loans require at least half-time enrollment to qualify for in-school deferral. So the plan outlined in the question wouldn't work for such loans in the first place. Jul 28, 2021 at 14:23
  • The credit hour requirement for half-time enrollment varies by institution, but at the several colleges I'm familiar with six hours does meet the minimum.
    – cpit
    Jul 31, 2021 at 3:25

Money interactions/discussions often draw a lot of emotions out of people and this is often complicated by in-law relationships.

The best advice one can give you is to stay out of this conversation. This is a financial transaction between father and daughter and your involvement will never been seen as positive by either party.

In some cases it is best to remain blissfully ignorant and silent.

In the end your FIL co-signed for 100K in student loan debt. That was stupid.
He took responsibility for paying back that loan when he co-signed. Despite your SIL's behavior being abhorrent, your FIL knew on some level that she was likely never to repay.

You can't say any of that. So for your marriage's sake remain silent.

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    While this is good advice, it doesn't really answer the question. +1 anyway. Jul 28, 2021 at 13:17
  • This needs to be a frame challenge, or extended comment, since it doesn't even pretend to answer the question.
    – RonJohn
    Jul 28, 2021 at 22:51
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    Thanks this was really helpful advice and I talked with my husband and we've agreed that even with my FIL asking for help from us we can't actually help him so we need to tell him to drop it with us, so thank you! Jul 29, 2021 at 2:10
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    While this is good advice, it doesn't really answer the question. -1 therefore.
    – user253751
    Jul 29, 2021 at 12:46
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    You are right that Erica shouldn't get involved in this issue, but in my opinion, her husband probably should apply pressure to the SIL to pay back the load. If the FIL ends up paying the load, it will reduce his inheritance towards the husbant.
    – user000001
    Jul 29, 2021 at 16:49

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