Her Stepdaughter Was Eligible for Stipends that Covered Her Tuition, yet She Wanted Her to Co-Sign for Student Loans – Was She Wise to Push Back?

A woman had a stepdaughter who was about to graduate high school, and the family was facing a crucial decision regarding financing her college education. However, the stepdaughter had access to substantial benefits due to her father’s service-connected disability, yet she wanted to apply for student loans, a decision that would soon cause a family feud. 

Family Background

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The stepdaughter’s father, a 44-year-old combat war veteran, had been separated from his ex-wife for years. The woman entered the picture two years after the divorce, and over the years, she had become an integral part of her stepdaughter’s life.

The Stepdaughter’s Misconceptions

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The stepdaughter’s biological mother faced financial struggles due to accumulating over $120,000 in student loans for a degree she didn’t use. The stepdaughter believed she had to follow a similar path, but her stepmother knew better.

Educational Benefits

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The woman was well-versed in her husband’s veterans’ benefits and explained her plan: “I KNOW what benefits are out there for my stepdaughter due to her father’s service-connected disability. She is eligible for a monthly tuition stipend plus a state benefit, which would cover all of her tuition fees.”

Urging Her to Apply

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The stepmother had repeatedly urged her stepdaughter to apply for these benefits. She advised her to submit her applications shortly after her 18th birthday to ensure they were processed before she started university. 

Resistance to Advice

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Despite these efforts, the young woman had been resistant. “She has asked me and her father to co-sign on student loans”, the woman explained. “We have spoken to her time and time again about applying for her benefits, but she claims her mother says that she would not qualify for them. This is nonsense – she is entitled to them”. 

Financial Constraints

Not Staying In A Toxic Relationship
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Furthermore, the woman and her husband could not co-sign on student loans anyway due to ongoing child support obligations. They were in no financial position to do so, and it would be a waste of money due to the benefits that the stepdaughter was eligible for.

The Stepdaughter’s Frustration

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The woman’s stepdaughter became increasingly frustrated with her family’s stance. She accused them of trying to ruin her future and expressed concerns about how she would afford college without student loans.

The Woman’s Frustration 

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Naturally, this attitude made the woman incredibly frustrated. She knew that her stepdaughter could claim her benefits and get her education without having to pay a dime, yet the stepdaughter was not listening to her, instead listening to the ill-informed advice of her biological mother.

Conflicted Feelings

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The stepmother found herself torn between her love for her stepdaughter and her deep understanding of the available benefits. She empathized with her desire to secure her education but knew that co-signing student loans was unnecessary given the resources at their disposal. She simply wished that her stepdaughter would listen to her advice. 

Seeking Advice

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The woman headed to her reliable support community online, expressing her frustration and seeking advice on how she should move forward. “Tell her you will reconsider helping her in any capacity if she applies for those benefits”, suggested one reader. “They cost her nothing but time and if she does get denied then she still loses nothing”.

A Popular Plan

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Many people agreed with the plan that the previous comment proposed. “I’m not sure why she won’t even apply, this is a lot of money”, another reader expressed. “If I were you I’d tell her you’ll co-sign only if she is rejected for this benefit you know she qualifies for”.

An Ignorant Stepdaughter 

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Everyone empathized with the woman’s frustrations. “You are absolutely not doing anything wrong”, one person defended. “Your stepdaughter is being wilfully ignorant. If she doesn’t listen, she’s about to learn a big lesson in consequences.”

Something Smelled Fishy

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Everyone was confused by the stepdaughter’s unwillingness to apply for her benefits, but one commenter suggested their explanation. “Is there any chance her mom did something sketchy that could have ruined her eligibility for these benefits, and her mother isn’t telling you?”, they asked. “It just seems weird that she’s so adamant that she isn’t eligible. Something smells fishy.” 

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