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It doesn't make much difference whether you cosign on a private loan for your child or get a parent's PLUS Loan, you'll still be required to take over the loan or loans if your child can't or doesn't make the payments. So that means as a parent you would be on the hook either way. On the other hand if your child takes out federal student loans only he or she will be responsible for repaying them and you as the parent will be off the hook. So no matter how tempted you might be to cosign on a loan or take out a Parent PLUS loan, it's really better for you financially to let your child get the loans. This can be especially true if you're nearing retirement. Students today are graduating with an average of nearly $30,000 in student loan debts and that's probably a burden you might not want to assume as you near those golden years. You could always choose to help your child repay his or her federal loans when and if it makes sense to you financially. But you would not be committed to repaying that $30,000 or whatever.