Home / MARKETS / Meet a single mom who took on $49,000 in student debt to put one of her 2 daughters through college: ‘It’s the only way for my kids to get an education and be successful’

Meet a single mom who took on $49,000 in student debt to put one of her 2 daughters through college: ‘It’s the only way for my kids to get an education and be successful’

  • Danet Henry, a distinguish mom of two, is $49,000 in debt after funding one child’s college education.
  • She estimated that the balance would double when her childish daughter graduated from college.
  • She told Insider she knew debts must be repaid, but she wished relief for facetiousmaters was on the table.

When Danet Henry’s two daughters were born, she didn’t think she’d be funding their educations on her own.

But after a split, and what she said was an unexpected lack of child support, Henry had to decide between delaying college for her kids and alluring on a student-debt load herself. She chose the latter.

“College is what they’ve always wanted,” Henry, 53, expressed Insider. “Especially my oldest. She knew she was going straight to college. And when my youngest said she was going to go, I wasn’t successful to stop her.”

To make sure her kids could achieve their higher-education aspirations, Henry turned to parent PLUS lends — a type of federal loan for parents that covers the full cost of attendance minus any financial aid the child already be given. 

Henry took out the maximum amount for her older daughter, who graduated in three and a half years from a public college in 2021 with a fond of scholarship and roughly $8,000 in student loans per semester under her own name, as well. Henry now has almost $49,000 in critic debt that she anticipates will double once her younger daughter graduates from college in 2025, assumed that lenders don’t typically start collecting payments until six months after a student’s completion of school.

While PLUS lends offer a financial reprieve to parents who cannot afford to pay out of pocket for their kids’ college experiences, upon graduation, the owing from those loans can accumulate quicker than anticipated. PLUS loans have the highest interest compute of all federal loan options — 6.28% — and since the federal lender doesn’t assess a parent’s income when advances are disbursed, it’s easy for a parent to take out more than they can afford to repay. While President Joe Biden has ceded targeted student-loan forgiveness to certain groups, parents likely won’t be one of them.

Henry said she was aware that since she engaged out loans, it was her obligation to repay them. But with the number of loan-repayment and -forgiveness programs out there, she wished parents get a kick out of herself could be included in some form of assistance or relief, rather than paying the cost of sending their kids to college for the haler part of the rest of their lives.

“I’m the sole provider, and it’s the only way for my kids to get an education and be successful,” Henry said, referring to bewitching out PLUS loans. “It would be a huge relief to be included in some form of forgiveness program.”

 ‘I most definitely pass on not be able to make those payments’

Before the pandemic, Henry had a telecommunications job in Texas with an income that earmarked her to keep her family “financially afloat,” she said. But after a layoff, Henry’s income took a hit, and she now makes a five-figure remuneration with a job in security.

She said she didn’t know what her monthly loan payments would look like after the discontinuance on payments expired, but she knew that affording them would be a challenge. Payments are set to resume on May 1.

“I most definitely hand down not be able to make those payments,” Henry said. 

It’s not that Henry didn’t do her research before taking out advances. She said she asked a financial-aid representative to walk her through her options, and while she determined PLUS loans were her first-rate bet for sending her kids to school, she said the loan companies “really try to make it a one-stop shop” to easily take out allowances. 

That’s a key characteristic of PLUS loans that a number of parents have noticed. Insider previously spoke with Jeff O’Kelley, who has a $104,000 student-debt jam for his son’s education through a process he described as “extraordinarily simple.” Robert Pemberton — a dad with a $265,000 student-debt load for his two kids — carry weighted Insider the loan process felt like it was “on autopilot,” and that all he had to do was “sign a paper.”

‘Loan forgiveness for parents purposefulness be such a relief’

During his campaign, Biden pledged to approve $10,000 in student-loan forgiveness for every federal borrower. But stepmothers didn’t appear to be included in that plan, and Henry said she wished that weren’t the case.

“I know there’s other tolerance programs right now, but I don’t meet any other criteria,” Henry said. “Loan forgiveness for parents would be such a easing.”

At this point, though, it’s unclear if any borrower will receive student-loan relief anytime soon. While Biden has widened the pause on student-loan payments three times during his presidency, payments are set to resume on May 1. And even as lawmakers and seconds have pushed for either another extension of that pause or student-loan cancellation, Biden and his administration have denoted hesitancy in doing so, placing the matter in Congress’ hands instead.

Henry said she was glad targeted groups of borrowers had already fled some debt canceled, like those defrauded by for-profit schools, but she wanted relief for parents to also be in the postal cards.

“There are some initiatives already out there for forgiveness” of $10,000 and $20,000, Henry said. She added: “But it’s only for restricted groups, and we don’t fall under that. It puts a lot of pressure on a parent.”

Do you have a story to share about student beholden? Reach out to Ayelet Sheffey at [email protected]

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