Parents stuck paying deceased son's student loans push to change federal law

Ryan Frascone, an engineering student at Metro State University, died from an accidental overdose in 2013. His parents, however, are still paying his student loans.

One of the realities of going to college is student loans, but what happens if the student suddenly dies before the loans are paid off?

In the case of an Eagan, Minnesota family, they’re stuck with their son’s payments and looking the change federal law. Ryan Frascone was an engineering student at Metro State University.

“And he was interested in the most amazing things - chemistry and biology, and you know you wouldn’t have expected it,” said Mark Frascone, Ryan’s father.

Ryan died in 2013 as part of the opioid crisis. An accidental overdose left his parents with broken hearts. It also left them with his private student loans.

“We just made a payment this morning,” said Mark. Another $200 payment this morning student loans.”

Congress passed a law in 2018 that releases the co-signer of private student loans from paying the debt if the student dies. But, the law was not retroactive and did not apply to the Frascones.

“Every single month, a parent somewhere, just like the Frascones is sending a check to a lender on a child they no longer have,” said Congresswoman Angie Craig (D – Eagan).

Craig is introducing a new bill called the “Ryan Frascone Memorial Student Loan Relief Act.” The bill grants payment relief to co-signers of dead students “before, on, and after the date of enactment…”

“We have to change this,” said Craig. “But, we have to make sure that Ryan’s story is told and this memory is served by making this loss a little bit easier for other families.”

For the Frascones, the loss is endless.

“I mean, it’s been seven years, but it still hurts,” said Julie Frascone, Ryan’s mother. “It’s still very raw. And to see that every month doesn’t lessen our pain any.”

Both the Frascones and Representative Craig’s office tried working with the loan company to forgive the payments, but the loan company refused. Representative Craig’s bill gets introduced in Congress Thursday.