DEAR HARRY: I'm 24 years old and a 2013 Temple grad. I have a good job in the suburbs. When I took out my student loans, I needed a co-signer, so I got my father to sign. Last week, I received a notification from my lender that my loan was in default.

Harry, I never missed or was late in any payment, so I called to find out what was wrong. It seems that I am caught on a hook because my father died in early June. I called everyone I know who was involved in the loan, but they would not budge. It is their practice to declare a default if the co-signer dies, goes bankrupt or gets a big credit-score hit. I solved the problem easily with my mother as the new co-signer. I'm sure my own score will take a big dive when they get wind of the default. Something has to be done about this. What's your take on it?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: Wow! I was unaware of this practice until I got your email. It appears that this is not unusual. I think it stinks to high heaven. At the very least, the borrower should be given some time, say 60 or 90 days, to get a replacement co-signer. This will require Congress to act. Such legislation should sail through because it's nonpartisan. Lean on your congressperson. This is an election year, and you should get cooperation.

Email Harry Gross at, or write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19107. Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.