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What resources exist to fully inform student loan borrowers in default of all rights and options? This feels like Me vs. World.

Santa Maria, CA |

Due to a period of chronic unemployment/underemployment I had to move several times while keeping my student loan debt in forbearance. After a move in 2007, I forgot to inform the loan holder of my new address and forgot that I needed to re-file for forbearance. Two years later, I got hung out to dry, with the subsequent years spent being harassed by debt collectors who presented only the remedy of "consolidation" of a loan on which I am already unable to pay even the interest. The amount I will then owe is nearly DOUBLE the amount I currently owe and they want to also pile on an extremely generous collection fee of nearly $20,000. I should mention that I borrowed the money to pay both school and living costs while I did my student teaching, an unpaid, "half-time" internship.

I put "half-time" in quotes because while the classroom time required was half that of full-time teachers, I had two "preps", meaning I had to prepare curriculum for two separate classes and I dedicated myself to the development and implementation of a completely original form of classroom management employing Roberts Rules of parliamentary procedure to run the class. The students ran the class by motions, nominations, and votes. I took myself almost completely out of the discipline role to moderate and lecture for their class, which they had to ASK me to do through a vote to get the information they needed for their class tests (grades) in beginning and advanced debate. It was a great experience, made possible only through the loan, which the students overwhelmingly benefitted from and appreciated. I have been punished for it every day since. Also since that year: the decline of public speaking and debate classes taught in our schools. From where will our future lawyers come?

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Attorney answers 1

Posted

The National Consumer Law Center has put together a great resource at http://www.studentloanborrowerassistance.org. Start there. But please don't fall for any of the student loan debt relief programs constantly springing up these days. You'll end up in worse shape than before.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for the response. It's only further confirmed my doomed situation. Death and the lottery are about the only way my loan, which ballooned from $18 to over $100k in 20 years, will ever be discharged. Therefore, all my education and talents will be wasted in low-paying jobs and I will live off food stamps and other government assistance until I drop dead. A person should not be punished for answering the call to teach, no matter what happens to the state budget. I am being punished for being poor under the wrong circumstances. This system needs to fall.