Tag Archives: discharge of student loans

Is there anything I can do about a student loan that has defaulted?

College Graduates are Shackled to Student Loan Debt
Typically once your loan enters default status, the lender requires you to pay off the remaining loan balance in its entirety in one lump sum. 

However, the U.S. Department of Education has a loan rehabilitation program to bring defaulted student loans current. There are several reasons as to why you should take advantage of this program. When you enter into the program, risk of wage garnishment ends, and the IRS will no longer be able to withhold your income tax refunds.

Additional advantages take place after you have completed the loan rehabilitation program. The loan will no longer be in default status and will be considered current. Furthermore, the negative credit reports to the three national credit bureaus associated with the loan will be deleted. You will now also regain eligibility for the benefits that were originally available on your loans before the loan defaulted. These benefits may include deferment, forbearance, and Title IV eligibility.

There are some differences to the program depending on the type of loan that you are trying to rehabilitate. In all cases, you are required to make nine full, on-time payments of an agreed amount within twenty days of their monthly due dates to the Department of Education.

The aforementioned differences have to do with the lender who services your loan after you complete the program. A Direct Loan will be returned to the Direct Loan Servicing Center, a FFEL Loan may be purchased by an eligible lending institution, and a Perkins Loan will be serviced by the Department of Education until the loan balance is paid off.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Payments secured through involuntary means, such as wage garnishment or litigation, cannot be counted towards your nine payments.
  • You are only allowed to perform loan rehabilitation once per loan. That means if your loan falls back into default, you will have few if any options, and you will more than likely be responsible for the remaining balance in full.

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University of Phoenix – “for profit” school – criticized by Bill and Melinda Gates’ education advocacy group “The Education Trust” – U of Phoenix produces low graduation rates and leaves students saddled with huge student loans

The National Consumer Law Center’s 2006 publication "Student Loans" (see also the 2009 Supplement) pointed out that for-profit schools signed up many, graduated few, but left most all (graduated or not) saddled with substantial student debt which experienced much higher default rates than student loans originated by students attending non-profit public and non-profit private colleges and universities.

Consequently, it was no suprise to me when the NY Times reported on Wednesday, November 24, 2010, that the Education Trust (a non-profit research and advocacy group) which is a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded organization, released a report entitled "Subrime Opportunity" which charges that such for-profit schools like the University of Phoenix deliver "little more than crippling debt" citing federal data taht suggests only 9 percent of the first-time, full time bachelor’s degree students at the Univeristy of Phoenix, the nation’s largest for-profit college, graduate within six years.

I quote from Tamar Lewin’s 11/24/2010, NY Times Article (page A18) "Report Finds Low Graduation RAtes at For-Profit Colleges": "…only 22 percent of the first-time, full-time bachelor’s degree students at for-profit collees over all graduate within six years, compared with 55 percent at public institutions and 65 percent at private non-profit colleges. Among Phoenix’s online students, only 5 percent graduated within six years, and at the campuses i Cleaveland and Wichita, Kansas, only 4 percent graduated within six years.[]…for-profit students graduate with so much more debt than community college students. Many either default on their loans, or struggle to make payments but find that their lives are taken over by debt. In a separate study also released Tuesday [11/23/10], the Pew Research Center reported that almost one-quarter of those who received bachelor’s degrees at for-profit schools in 2008 borrowed more than $40,000, comapred with 5 percent at public institutions and 14 percent at not-for-profit state colleges."

Interesting, Mr. Lewin points out that (as perhaps a sign of subtle protest) Melinda Gates resigned from the board of the Washington Post Company, which gets most of its revenues from its for-profit higher-education unit, Kaplan, Inc. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/24/education/24colleges.html?