She took out $20,000 in loans for her son’s college. Then he went blind  

If you took out so-called Parent Plus loans for your child, “you should know there are options for reduced payment and possible forgiveness,” said Betsy Mayotte, president of The Institute of Student Loan Advisors, a nonprofit that helps student loan borrowers with free advice and dispute resolution.

Parent borrowers may be eligible for reduced payments, Mayotte said, including the extended and graduated repayment plans. If you consolidate the Parent Plus loan into a “direct” loan, you could enroll in an income contingent repayment plan, which caps your monthly payments at a percentage of your income and typically results in the cancellation of your debt after 25 years. “This can be particularly helpful for retired parents on fixed incomes,” Mayotte said.

Parents can also appeal to the Education Department to be put in a so-called alternative repayment plan, Kantrowitz said, which also comes with reduced monthly payments.

Many parent borrowers don’t realize they are potentially eligible for public service loan forgiveness, Mayotte said. That program allows certain not-for-profit and government employees to have their federal student loans canceled after 10 years of on-time payments.

More from Personal Finance:

Here’s what you need to qualify for public service loan forgivenessThe government may forgive your student loans if you meet these demands
Education Department is failing to provide public service loan forgiveness, senators allege

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