Recently, CNBC posted an article about concerns that have been raised with Student Loan Servicers giving incorrect or not enough information on the various types of relief from student loan debt that is available. After complaints from many borrowers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently released a report about these complaints focusing on one particular program provided to manage student loan debt; public service loan forgiveness. The CFPB believes that servicers do not provide borrowers sufficient or correct information about this option. Some borrowers have even reported that their servicer has done something to their account that would render them unqualified for the aid they are eligible to receive. There may be thousands of public service employees who are eligible for this program and don’t know it or may have been ill advised about whether or not they even qualify. Borrowers with qualifying job positions may include social workers, doctors, nurses, teachers, non- profit workers and first responders. In fact, it is reported that the government has certified 500,000 people who are eligible for this aid. There are some criteria to meet in order to qualify. For one, you must make payments on the loan for 10 years, on time. You must also work for a company or employer that has been qualified by the United States Department of Education to be serving the public good. Examples of potential qualified employers are government entities and agencies and non-profits. The public service loan forgiveness was created in 2007 so some borrowers will be able to see this benefit this year if they have been making their payments. This option for student loan forgiveness will be good while it lasts, but our current administration is seeking to end it on loans given after July 1, 2018.
There are other options for loan forgiveness and hardship. I wrote about these in a previous post. Detailed explanations of these options are available at the Federal Student Aid Website . These options only apply to Government Guaranteed student loans and not educational loans form private lenders.
Based on these reports, I strongly advise anyone who has student loan debt to do your own due diligence in researching all available options to manage the debt BEFORE it becomes overwhelming or too costly for you. Monitor your account closely and stay in touch with your servicer to insure that nothing is done to disqualify you from any type of Student Loan Debt relief.
If you would like to discuss options about student loan debt or managing any other consumer debts, please call our office nearest you and scheduled a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Amy K Tanner is a shareholder in several of the Bond & Botes Law Offices. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. She focuses primarily on consumer bankruptcy law in the Huntsville and Decatur offices.Read her full bio here.