How tens of thousands of young people have spent over a decade working their way through a loan forgiveness plan that they will NEVER get.
Student loan debt is a harsh and ugly reality in the United States. The average US student borrower won’t be able to pay back their loan until after they reach 40 years of age. 44 was the magic number for former President Barack Obama. He famously didn’t pay off his student loan debt until age 44, just before taking office as the 44th US President. So, none but the rich and privileged are immune to this crisis—for surely this is what it is.
The current outstanding US student loan debt is a staggering $1.5 trillion. Many young professionals begin their careers with a six-figure personal debt. A huge and unfair milestone to start out in life with. It’s a fact that has many in America considering if a higher education is even worth the price any more.
Many still choose to study and earn degrees at enormous personal cost. Some do so with the expectation of selecting a post-graduate career in public service. A 10-year career in public service comes attached with promises of full loan forgiveness. It is an attractive deal that many have built their careers around. Sadly, the vast majority of these professionals probably won’t see their debt erased after all. All because the American Government through the US Dept. of Education (ED) lied to young aspiring students about their loans.
Of the near 30,000 people who applied for loan forgiveness over the past year, a mere 96 were approved. That’s not even one percent! Tens of thousands of Americans are discovering that they’ve been duped by the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). The program was created in 2007 under the George W. Bush administration. Its aim was to boost applications into the public service industry. It promised complete loan settlement by the government after 10 years of service and timely loan payments. Naturally, this was a massive incentive for people wanting to be debt-free before their 40’s.
October of 2017 marked the start for those eligible to claim their debt forgiveness. So as the applications came in, the rejections soon followed. According to Slate.com, “the Department of Education reported that it had rejected more than 99 percent of all applications submitted through the end of June.” These figures based on the promises and assertions given is not due to user error and should now be publicly declared a full-on mass fraud. We’re happy to do so, but we are but a small voice in a media wilderness.
The language used is very misleading regarding who qualifies. The terms are so unclear that the American Bar Association sued the Department of Education (ED) on this issue. Surely if the stated requirements were too convoluted for trained lawyers then the average citizen has little or no chance, right?
There’s also a lot of confusion surrounding how paperwork is kept, what qualifies as public service, and even which loan repayment program is used. However the ED will not even disclose why it rejected the vast majority of applicants. (Probably because they need the cash to pay for the recent tax cuts.)
“I almost threw up. I’ve been teaching 18 years and I still don’t make $40,000— and now I have to start all over,” says a teacher from Oklahoma after she was shocked to discover she wasn’t granted loan forgiveness. This is only the beginning in what will be years of hardship and heartache to millions of unsuspecting victims. It is like no help is being given to real helpers in our society. But that’s nothing new. The cost of fraud always seems fall upon the poor and vulnerable.
Very few governments support fraud prevention or provide any user protection. Either in our education systems or in the creation or updating of laws. In this case, the US government through ED is misrepresenting itself within the education system to tens of thousands of voiceless and vulnerable victims. So it really should not be surprising that we now live in a fraud frenzy where people can no longer know when or if they become victims of fraud. However, what’s truly soul destroying about this fraud is that the government has taken a key step from being not just a fraud enabler, but has now openly and unambiguously become a fraud perpetraitor.