In The News: Raising the Bar for Loan Forgiveness

September 16, 2019

By Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher ED

In her first significant act as Education Secretary more than two years ago, Betsy DeVos said she planned to overhaul an Obama administration student loan rule designed to protect borrowers defrauded by their college.

Despite her efforts, the Obama borrower-defense regulations took effect last year. But on Friday DeVos capped off a two-year effort by issuing her own rule, which scales back loan forgiveness opportunities for student borrowers.

The new regulations significantly raise the bar for student borrowers seeking debt forgiveness based on claims they were defrauded by their colleges. They add a new three-year time limit for those borrowers to file claims, and each case will be considered individually, even if there is evidence of widespread misconduct at an institution.

Borrowers will also be asked to demonstrate they suffered financial harm from their college’s misconduct and that the college made deceptive statements with “knowledge of its false, misleading, or deceptive nature.”

The collapse of the Corinthian Colleges chain and subsequent flood of debt-relief claims prompted Education Department officials under the last administration to issue the 2016 borrower-defense rule.

Although the rule was a response to misconduct in the for-profit college sector, it applied to all Title IV institutions. And private nonprofit college groups had expressed concerns that their institutions could be on the hook for student claims even for unintentional mistakes in marketing materials. DeVos had made clear previously that she thought the regulations were too permissive, essentially offering borrowers the chance at “free money.”

“We believe this final rule corrects the wrongs of the 2016 rule through common sense and carefully crafted reforms that hold colleges and universities accountable and treat students and taxpayers fairly,” she said in a statement accompanying the rule.

Education Department officials said the new three-year time limit for claims aligns with record-retention requirements for colleges. They said the process will give institutions the opportunity to respond to claims and students the chance to elaborate on claims based on those responses.

The DeVos regulations will save the federal government about $11 billion over 10 years, the department estimates (the federal government shoulders the cost of loan discharge if it cannot recoup funds from the institutions themselves). Consumer advocates argue those savings are created by rigging the system against borrowers.

To Read More, Click Link Below:

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/09/03/devos-imposes-tougher-debt-relief-standards-student-borrowers-alleging-fraud

 

In The News: Families, Not Just Students, Feel The Weight Of The Student Loan Crisis

September 4, 2019

By Elissa Nadworny, NPR

Middle-income family in debt.

For many college students settling into their dorms this month, the path to campus — and paying for college — started long ago. And it likely involved their families.

The pressure to send kids to college, coupled with the realities of tuition, has fundamentally changed the experience of being middle class in America, says Caitlin Zaloom, an anthropologist and associate professor at New York University. It’s changed the way that middle class parents raise their children, she adds, and shaped family dynamics along the way.

Zaloom interviewed dozens of families taking out student loans for her new book, Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost. She defines those families as middle class because they make too much to qualify for federal aid — but too little to pay the full cost of a degree at most colleges. For many, the burden of student debt raises big questions about what a degree is for.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

How would you describe the world of student debt?

Families have really been transformed by debt, and really by the problem of dreaming about sending a kid to college and trying very hard to pay for it — oftentimes from the very earliest moments of a child’s life. I think what we don’t take account of, nearly enough, is what that experience is like — [what] the experience of trying to give a kid a shot by sending them [to] college means for most middle class families.That’s the thing that I think that we need to be focusing on.

You argue in the book that the idea of going to college is pervasive in American life.

It is pervasive. That message is coming at families from every direction: that being a success in America depends upon the ability to get into college, to get an education and to graduate. But that itself depends on the ability to pay, which thrusts us right into the paradox of it all — which is that on the one hand, young adults and the parents who support them have this very clear goal about getting a college education. On the other hand, that is going to cost them dearly.

Click On Link Below To Read More

https://www.npr.org/2019/09/04/755221033/families-not-just-students-feel-the-weight-of-the-student-loan-crisis

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.

In The News: Americans are staying silent on student loan debt—and it’s not helping

August 19, 2019

By Megan Leonhardt, CNBC

When it comes to uncomfortable conversations, Americans would rather talk about pretty much anything else — politics, health issues, religion — than discuss their finances.

Yet the money topic Americans voted as most thorny is one that’s constantly in the news: student loans. Over a third of Americans say they see student loan debt as the biggest financial taboo, according to a Harris Poll of over 1,000 U.S. adults commissioned by TD Ameritrade.

A similar survey conducted by the MIT AgeLab and sponsored by TIAA found that 40% of respondents reported they never talk to their family about their student loans. In fact, over half said their families know “nothing” or “very little” about their debt.

Yet you’re far from unique if you’re swimming in student loan debt. Americans have amassed $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, with one in four Americans carrying a balance. And both the prevalence and the effect of student loans is widely studied: the Fed found that 20% of the homeownership decline among millennials (ages 24 to 32) can be attributed to this debt. Other surveys have found that student loan debt is forcing millennials to put off other major life milestones, such as getting married and starting families.

Democratic 2020 presidential candidates are even making student loan debt solutions a core component of their campaigns — promising everything from better refinancing options to introducing more debt forgiveness programs to wiping it out completely.

So why aren’t people talking about their student loans around the dinner table or with friends over drinks? It’s personal, experts say. “Student loan debt may be pervasive and a constant topic in the media and in the political arena, but it’s still debt,” Erin Lowry, author of Broke Millennial Takes On Investing, tells CNBC Make It. “People are fundamentally uncomfortable talking about debt because it’s easy to assume another person is going to pass judgement on your choices.”

And boy do they.

Click On Link Below To Read More:

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/07/student-loans-are-the-most-uncomfortable-conversation-topic-for-americans.html

 

No Debt But Love:😃Liebster Award Nomination😃

Hello everyone and welcome back to No Debt But Love. I am humbled to have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Prashanti Alluri @ https://happinessinn.blog/. Thank you Prashanti for nominating No Debt But Love! ❤️  Please visit her blog, you will find it beneficial.  Prashanti aims to encourage others in their quest to happiness, wellness, and peace.

The Rules:
1. Thank the Blogger who nominated you.
2. Share 11 facts about yourself.
3. Answer the questions the blogger asked you.
4. Nominate 11 lucky bloggers and make them happy.
5. Ask your nominees 11 further questions.
6. Notify your 11 nominees.

11 Facts About Myself:
1. Surprisingly, I am an introvert.
2. I enjoy jogging and basketball.
3. I see myself retiring outside the country of my birth-the U.S.
4. I enjoy cheeseburgers… A LOT.
5. I am 1 of 8 children.
6. I am originally from Texas… yeehaw!
7. I work in education.
8. I studied business and communication in college.
9. I knew early on-11 years-old, I wanted to get married and start a family.
10. I am married with 2 kids.
11. My generational classification is Millennial.

Prashanti’s Questions
1. Are there any writers in your family?
My little sister writes poetry.

2. What inspired you towards blogging?
I want people to be encouraged to not give up ever. Regardless of their circumstances.

3. What is your favorite color?
My favorite color is red.

4. Whats your future ambition?
My future ambition is to pay off my student loan debt and leave wealth for my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

5.What are your hobbies ?
I enjoy blogging, jogging, and playing/watching basketball.

6. What’s your favorite subject in school?
I overall enjoy the pursuit of knowledge. I really can’t choose just one, I did enjoy my finance, human resources, and rhetorical criticism coursework.

7. Do you like poetry, then who is that you like?
I don’t necessarily read poetry, I do enjoy reading current events.

8.How do relax when your anxious?
I pray and go running.

9. What’s your best childhood memory?
My best childhood memory was my father coming home with coconut flavored candy. It was Coconut Long Boys lol.

10.Who is the most inspiring person in your life?
Unapologetically, Jesus Christ.

11.Describe about your blog in few words?
My blog aims to encourage those experiencing financial hardship due to student loans. This blog is a rallying cry to take courage, face the debt monster, and make it submit.

My 11 nominees for this award are:
JLV College Counseling
Dreamer, Random Thoughts
Deeply shreded, d_vyang_talks
Coachkanikafindingabetteryou, coachkanika.home.blog
Samyak Singh, Enigmatical
Ria, Just write For yourself
Frugal Buffalo
Jordan Rothman, Student Debt Diaries
James Burgess, Business Discussin Group
Madmargaret, Mad Margaret Diaries
Deeply shreded, d_vyang_talks

I like Prashanti’s Questions so I would like to reuse them…

Questions to Nominees:

  1. Are there any writers in your family?
  2. What inspired you towards blogging?
  3. What is your favorite color?
  4. Whats your future ambition?
  5. What are your hobbies ?
  6.  What’s your favorite subject in school?
  7. Do you like poetry, then who is that you like?
  8. How do relax when your anxious?
  9.  What’s your best childhood memory?
  10. Who is the most inspiring person in your life?
  11. Describe about your blog in few words?

Thank you for supporting No Debt But Love! Please visit the blogs of my Liebster Award nominees. Let them know that No Debt But Love sent you! 😃

In The News: Teacher To Betsy DeVos: ‘Why Didn’t You Forgive My Student Loans?’

August 5, 2019

By Zack Friedman, Forbes

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

An educator thought she was on track to receive student loan forgiveness.

She made the payments. She thought she did everything right.

Then, she was told years later that she didn’t qualify.

Here’s what you need to know – and how you can avoid her fate.

New Lawsuit: Student Loan Forgiveness

As first reported by NPR, Debbie Baker, a Director Education at a non-profit organization in Tulsa, Oklahoma, expected that her $76,000 of student loan debt would be forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, a federal program through the U.S. Department of Education that forgives federal student loans for individuals who work in public service.

According to Baker, her student loan servicer – the company responsible for collecting and managing her student loan payments –  allegedly told her for nine years that she met all the requirements to receive public service loan forgiveness. As such, Baker thought she would have all her federal student loan forgiven after meeting the program’s requirements, which she believed she met. However, after making her usual monthly payments under an income-driven repayment program, the U.S. Department of Education said she did not qualify for student loan forgiveness. You can imagine Baker’s reaction.

Now, Baker is a plaintiff in a new lawsuit filed by the American Federation of Teachers, one of the nation’s largest teacher’s unions, against the U.S. Department of Education, which is led by Secretary Betsy DeVos. The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that:

  • the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is “grossly mismanaged” and
  • the program, as it’s currently administered, violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  • the U.S. Department of Education is aware that student loan servicers make misrepresentations to borrowers, which results in borrowers getting rejected for student loan forgiveness and suffering financial and other harm.

Was Baker given the wrong information from her student loan servicer? Was it Baker’s responsibility to understand all the requirements of the program? Is the program administered properly? What is the proper role of student loan servicers – advisors or student loan payment collectors? Many of these issues may be addressed as a result of this lawsuit.

To Read More, Click Link Below:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2019/07/15/punlic-service-loan-forgiveness-lawsuit/#217b029c32ab

In The News: ‘I’m Drowning’: Those Hit Hardest By Student Loan Debt Never Finished College

August 1, 2019

By Elissa Nadworny, NPR

Most days, 25-year-old Chavonne can push her student loan debt to the back of her mind.

Between short-term office jobs in the Washington, D.C., area, she drives for Uber. But once in awhile, a debt collector will get hold of her cellphone number — the one she keeps changing to avoid them — and it all comes back fresh. “I’ll be like, ‘Oh no!’ ” she says. “It’s a sad reminder that I owe somebody money!”

In April, she got another reminder when the government seized her tax refund.

All this for a degree she never finished.

Back in high school, she recalls, her teachers and friends pushed her to go to college. And so, without too much thought, Chavonne enrolled at the University of Mississippi and borrowed about $20,000 to pay for it.

Far away from home and in a challenging environment, she struggled — and after three semesters, she’d had enough. Her college days are five years behind her, but the debt she took on is not.

Today, rent, car payments, gas and food are higher up on her list of priorities. And so she’s in default, not paying on her loans.

The one thing that could help Chavonne earn more money, of course, is earning a degree. But because she’s in default, she doesn’t have access to federal student aid that could help her go back and finish. It’s a vicious cycle for Chavonne and millions of other students who leave college with debt and without a degree.

From mid-2014 to mid-2016, 3.9 million undergraduates with federal student loan debt dropped out, according to an analysis of federal data by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit news organization.

The default rate among borrowers who didn’t complete their degree is three times as high as the rate for borrowers who did earn a diploma. When these students stop taking classes, they don’t get the wage bump that graduates get that could help them pay back their loans.

The perception is, work hard and pay what you owe, says Tiffany Jones, who leads higher education policy at the Education Trust, “but it’s not manageable even if you’re working.”

To Read More Click Link Below:

https://www.npr.org/2019/07/18/739451168/i-m-drowning-those-hit-hardest-by-student-loan-debt-never-finished-college

In The News: Debt free at 23: How this woman paid off $20K in loans in just one year

July 18, 2019

By Sofia Pitt

For CNBC

Paying with paper instead of plastic helped Kristy Epperson eliminate $20,000 in student loan and car loan debt in just one year.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Wright State University in 2017, Epperson owed about $16,000 in student loans from multiple borrowers with interest rates of between 3.6% and 6.8%. She also had roughly $4,000 left on her car loan, at an interest rate of 4.2%.

Even as Epperson began slowly chipping away at that debt, she managed to achieve another financial goal: homeownership. She was able to buy a place in Dayton, Ohio, with only 5% as a down payment. Becoming a homeowner forced her to take a hard look at her expenses and reevaluate her spending habits — which made her more determined to wipe out her student loan and auto debts.

“If something happened, if I lost my job, I’d have no way to pay my bills,” Epperson tells Grow. “I needed a better long-term plan.”

In addition to getting a second job as a substitute teacher, which brought in an extra $100 to $300 a month, Epperson created an expense spreadsheet and began tracking her purchases to help her pay down debt faster. She used her Instagram page, @DebtFreeAtTwentyThree, to share her setbacks, strategies, and accomplishments.

To Read More, Click on Link Below:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/07/17/student-loans-car-loans-woman-paid-off-debt-cash-budget/1754028001/

From IOU To I Forgive You

“Don’t seek to ascribe your internal value by external means.” Where the words my wife used to remind me that I’m not alive to be popular. Throughout my student loan repayment journey I found it necessary to often forgo shopping, dining, and traveling with friends.

As a husband and father of two, it’s difficult placing the needs of my family before my own desires. However, this is exactly what Jesus Christ has called me to do. I am called to love my wife as Christ loved the church as found in Ephesians 5:25. This means even when she is disagreeable (as I can be too), I must show her love.

I must also imitate Christ in humility as found in Phillipians 2:3. By no means does the Bible call for believers to be doormats. The Bible provides us with “Fruits of the Spirit”- desirable qualities we should look for in ourselves and others. With that said, how will my decisions affect others?

In the context of this blog, life isn’t about paying off debt; and this doesn’t make it okay to become a spendthrift. I regret not “seeing the forest for the trees” in pursuit of debt repayment. I’ve sacrificed putting Christ on display by holding onto resources, and forgetting 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread were more than enough for Him to work with.

I must acknowledge my own moral failures and extend forgiveness; even if my loan servicers won’t do the same hahaha. Forgiveness is not for those who hurt you, but for you. Holding onto hurt is like a bad rope burn, let it go. So this post is to my 18-year-old self, I forgive you for signing the promissory note unwittingly lol.

For my readers, what regrets do you still hold on to? What do you need to forgive yourself and others of? Join me in starting the journey by commenting below.

Until next time everyone, stay strong… fight on… and have no debt but love. Peace and blessings.