Mom co-signed a loan and now she's stuck: Help Me, WalletPop!

Jean Chatzky
Jean Chatzky

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Q. My mom is in the unfortunate situation of being a co-signer on a student loan and was informed she qualified to be taken off after 24 months of payments. She had the main person on the account (who has been absent for the whole loan) sign the paper to release her. She then got a call from Sallie Mae saying that they contacted the main borrower to tell him that the minimum payment had doubled. He has not paid one cent towards the balance for the life of the loan so my mom has paid every month. They told her if she paid the remaining $40 she would be taken off the loan. Then, another rep called her yesterday to tell her she didn't qualify for the removal because she hadn't paid 24 consecutive months. He said because she only paid a partial payment this month she didn't qualify, but she told him that she had since paid the rest. He said the system didn't see that and they were going to send the account to collections. Is there anything she can do?

--Will Adams