You chose the best first step. However, with today's credit markets the way they are, it is very possible to convince the lender to make a modification to the loan to something that can be paid monthly. They have said it takes two years. It takes one day for them to pull the late payments from your records. The next month comes, and no credit agency can pick it up. This is one way, and the best way. The problem many people have is they get intimidated by the lender. If you can prove to the lender or servicer (student loans are sold like mortgages) that you are at risk of default, they should work with you. It is really hard, and you really have to push for it. You can even push them to get your name off the loan for certain amount, say bringing it current, and that is your real goal as stated in your question. The lenders, from real estate, to automobiles to credit cards are really hurting right now. They are in a position to negotiate, and you need to keep pushing, And I mean push them hard. A reputable consumer counseling agency in your area can assist you with this as well.
The only real other option you have is to refinance the debt, and pay off the loan which bears your name. You will have a higher interest rate, or I say your son should, but it will get your name off the loan because through refinancing, the loan is paid off. Please make sure to check for any prepayment penalties.
Interests rates are at an all time low right now. I would not suggest refinancing, but for, these low rates. This won't be easy, but if you really push it, you will be surprised by the results.
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