U.S. Education Dept. Cancels Loans for 1,500 Defrauded Students

November 11, 2019

By Stacy Cowley, The New York Times

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been under pressure from lawmakers and the courts over her handling of student-loan relief programs.

About 1,500 students who attended two art institutes that were part of the sudden collapse of a career-school chain this year will have their federal loans canceled, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said on Friday.

It was a rare victory for borrowers seeking debt relief from a department that, under Ms. DeVos, has frozen or curtailed relief programs for students who claim that schools defrauded them. Borrowers who attended the two schools, the Art Institute of Colorado and the Illinois Institute of Art, sued the department last month, seeking to have their loans eliminated.

“Students were failed and deserve to be made whole,” Ms. DeVos said. Students who attended the schools from late January 2018 through the end of last year, when they shut down, will have their loans for that period canceled, the department said.

Borrowers will still generally owe on federal loans they took out before Jan. 20, the department said in an email sent to borrowers on Friday. Some people, however, may qualify to have all of their loans eliminated through the department’s closed school discharge program.

The decision was the latest twist in the messy unraveling of the chain, Dream Center Education Holdings, which owned dozens of campuses under the Art Institutes, South University and Argosy University brands.

Dream Center was owned by a Christian nonprofit that acquired the troubled group of for-profit schools in late 2017. It closed some schools within a few months, and the entire chain abruptly shut down barely a year later after millions of dollars in federal financial aid funds that were owed to students went missing. The money has still not been recovered.

The accreditation for the Art Institute’s Colorado and Illinois campuses was removed by the Higher Learning Commission in January 2018, around the time Dream Center took them over. The loss of certification meant that students risked being unable to transfer their credits to other schools or have their credentials recognized by employers.

Officials at the Art Institutes never told students that the campuses had lost their accreditation, according to court filings and the Higher Learning Commission.

By law, the Education Department is not allowed to release federal student loan funds to for-profit schools that are not accredited. But the department sent more than $10 million to the two schools and, according to emails and other records, told Dream Center officials that it was working to allow schools to become retroactively accredited.

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In Pursuit Of More: $69,937.11 Paid, $15,370.96 Till Payoff

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. -Romans 8:28

I Tried To Take It Back…

So often I am tempted to get angry, sulk, and take revenge because of a wrong someone has done to me. I run from discomfort, but what if you and I were meant to endure hardships? Never in a thousand years would I have imagined saying the following in a conversation, “Debt repayment and budgeting is not about managing your money, it’s about managing your heart”.

WHAT? I wish I could take those words back, as my wife grinned from ear to ear in acknowledgment of what implications that truly had on our current way of life.  But it was too late.

I didn’t want to admit that despite my laser focus to repay my debt, at the end of the day, it was the process and not the details that carry eternal significance.

Previously, I’d fantasize about receiving checks in the mail that could completely wipe out my debt. Sadly, the check never came; and the truth that I was alone in my debt journey hit me like a ton of bricks.

Before going to college, I saved every penny I had. My relationship with money as a child was not a healthy one–as I didn’t grow up with much. I knew money was needed to purchase things, but I also felt that having too much of it was wrong.

My Thoughts On Money

I think that money is a tool, and it doesn’t have any more power over you than you allow it to have.

Money is NOT inherently evil. The LOVE of money is the root of all evil. -1 Timothy 6:10. Love can be defined as an intense feeling of deep affection.

The emotion of love can influence us to accomplish heroic feats such as this father saving his daughter from a shark attack.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/06/04/paramedic-dad-punched-shark-five-times-save-his-daughter-who-lost-leg-attack/?noredirect=on

This man literally gave a shark the One Punch Man knuckle sandwich lunch special for FREE-99 lol. That shark will think twice before going after anything else besides marine life.

Risking It All

Or this strong fondness of something can destroy your life’s work. Take Bernie Madoff and Jefferey Epstein for instance, both men have been disgraced due to their misuse of things they enjoyed out of context.

Taking things out of the context from which they were meant to be enjoyed is dangerous. For one man, having enough money was never enough; for the other, seeking inappropriate affection.

I would like to leave you with a line from a song from an artist called Bizzle and an update on my student loans below.

Partial Lyrics from song by Bizzle “God Over Money”

If that same resource was made free to you
It would literally destroy what cash means to you
So how you risk your life for a paper dollar?
When as long as you have life you can make a dollar?

Student Loan Update

Until next time everyone! Stay strong… fight on… and have no debt but love! Peace and Blessings.

Your Credit Score & Student Loans: $67,916.64 Paid, $17,391.43 Till Payoff

Here… Take My Money, All of it.

The financial burden of student loans on the lives of young professionals is well documented.   I’ve been on my personal repayment journey for eight years now.

I have been fortunate to have had the ability to make timely payments throughout, and this has improved my credit score substantially.

However, this wasn’t always the story.  Six months after graduation, my mailbox was stuffed full of payment due notices.  The letters came from ACS, Nelnet, FedLoan, and Brazos.

I requested electronic notifications, and began making payments every month.  It didn’t take long to get a letter of 30 days delinquency from a new company-University Accounting Services (UAS).  I was infuriated, I thought everything was taken care of.

What. In. The. World. Was. Going. On???   

I overlooked notices from UAS under the mountain of loan servicer paperwork.  I threw up my hands and wanted to give up already.  Out of curiosity I checked my credit score and sure enough, UAS tacked on a “missed payment” notification onto my credit report.

Thankfully, I was able to get the servicer’s contact information.  To my surprise, UAS was collecting the debt on behalf of my alma mater Abilene Christian University.  I own my mistake of falling behind on the student loan payment.  ACU regularly makes donation calls, a courtesy call regarding this debt would’ve been awesome. HaHa.  Well… as I said before, this was my mistake not ACU’s. I’m STILL a little salty to this day.

 

So Here’s What I’ve Learned

  1. Sort and organize mail from student loan servicers.
  2. Check your credit report regularly.
  3. Don’t be so hard on yourself, we aren’t perfect.

Below is an update on my student loan debt.  Until next time everyone, stay strong, fight on, and have no debt but love! Peace and blessings.

In The News: The average millennial has a net worth of $8,000. That’s far less than previous generations.

June 5, 2019
By Abha Bhattarai for Washington Post

Millennials are doing far worse financially than generations before them, with student loans, rising rents and higher health-care costs pushing the average net worth below $8,000, a new study shows.

The net worth of Americans aged 18 to 35 has dropped 34 percent since 1996, according to research released Thursday by Deloitte, the accounting and professional services giant. This demographic is paying more for education and such basics as food and transportation while incomes have largely flatlined.

“The vast majority of consumers are under tremendous financial pressure,” said Kasey M. Lobaugh, Deloitte’s chief retail innovation officer and lead author of the study. “That is particularly true for low-income Americans and millennials.”

The growing gap between the nation’s wealthiest residents and everybody else, he said, is affecting the way consumers spend…

Click link below to read more:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/05/31/millennials-have-an-average-net-worth-thats-significantly-less-than-previous-generations/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.269c9363005d