Co-signers often are required to pay off the remainder of private student loans if the student dies, an expensive loophole in student-lending rules that is not usually found in federal loans. The plight of one deceased student's family brought about the Christopher Bryski Student Loan Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. John Adler, D-N.J., and introduced into the House of Representatives in May. The law would require private student lenders to explain co-signer requirements if the borrower dies, insurance options for loans and situations in which loans can be discharged.

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