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Question for the esteemed tax advice folks:

My father (bless his heart) is considering paying off my student loans. If he pays the debt off directly to the lender (in this case the US Dept. of Education), is this considered subject to gift tax (the amount in question is over 10K).

I understand that payments to cover tuition are not subject to gift tax. Are payments to cover student loans also exempt? If not, what other strategies might be pursued?

Thanks in advance,
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