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Student Loan Repayment Is for Parents, Too

Student loan repayment isn't just for students: parents can qualify, too. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Student loan repayment isn't just for students: parents can qualify, too. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Student loans. A serious question that many undergraduates and graduates think about. But what about when it’s the parents concern? Can parents receive money from the student loan repayment program for loans taken out for their kids’ college education? Hill Navigator discusses.

Q. Hi! I’m considering a job as a (freshman) senator’s regional manager. Is the student loan repayment program something to negotiate over in salary talks? For a Parents Plus loan for our daughter? Thanks much.

Yes, the student loan repayment program should absolutely be brought up in your salary talks, especially with a new office that may not know all of the details. A quick summary of the program : Certain federal student loans are eligible for repayment by a central account administered by the House chief administrative officer and the secretary of the Senate. The loan must meet certain criteria: It must be a federal student loan (private loans are not eligible), must be in the name of the employee (not the employee’s parents nor spouse) and it must be active with a current balance. Loans in deferment or default are not eligible.  

Hill Navigator did some research to confirm that yes, your Parents Plus loan would be eligible for repayment , provided it is in repayment status and in your name.  

There is very useful information on the “Student Loan Repayment — Frequently Asked Questions” available through Housenet. As you are applying for a job (and in the Senate, to boot) you may not have access to the document, so Hill Navigator has scanned it  for your reading and research enjoyment.  

During the interview process, ask if the office participates in the student loan repayment program. Offices all have the option to do so, though many vary on the way in which they divide the funds . Some offices pay as a portion of the salary, others give each employee a set amount.  

For your negotiating purposes, if you have an office that participates in the program and does not give employees a set amount, it may be worth asking for a larger monthly student loan repayment as part of your compensation package. If the office does not participate, or returns a blank look when you bring the program up, volunteer to help find information about how to sign up for the program when you come on board (and start here for details ).  

Either way, if the job works out for you, you’re likely to have a lighter monthly loan repayment coming to you very soon. Good luck!  

Want more information on the Student Loan Repayment Program? Interested staffers can contact House of Representatives Office of Payroll and Benefits at (202) 225-1435 or the Senate Office of Payroll and Benefits at (202) 224-1095.
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