Author Topic: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan  (Read 1774 times)

jubjub29

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Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« on: January 13, 2019, 09:44:04 AM »
I began repaying my 4 loans, 2 Stafford subsidized and 2 unsubsidized in 2010. In 2011 I called My Fed Loan to tell them my payments were too high and that I qualify for the loan forgiveness program. I was told that I should be on the extended graduate repayment plan. I switched to the extended graduate repayment plan and called in 2017 to confirm the amount of payments made eligible for loan forgiveness. I was told that I would need to consolidate my loans and then they would send me my total months for eligible payments. I did this and it lowered my payments $20.00 but now they are saying I only became eligible for loan forgiveness in 2017 when I called for an update and consolidated. I was paying more in the other program they said I need to be on and have never missed a payment. How can I get credit for these years? I have been eligible for the program since I began paying my loans in 2010. Any tips or advice will be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

hops

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2019, 10:31:55 AM »
My understanding of PSLF is shaky at best (we quickly decided it wasn't right for us) but I thought extended graduated repayment plans were ineligible anyway. Even if they weren't, consolidation resets the clock on eligible payments.

You've probably already looked into TEPSLF; I'm not sure if that could potentially be helpful to you, but there are some student loan wizards here who'd probably know.

(Edited to correct spelling)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 08:24:42 PM by hops »

FireAnt

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2019, 11:24:17 AM »
You and a thousands of others were told wrong which is causing these problems of people not being qualified. They did create a budget for this issue (see link below), but my understanding is that you have to be eligible for the forgiveness program, then denied, then apply to access these funds. I don't know if once that money is gone, it's gone or that it will still remain available when you're eligible.

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service/temporary-expanded-public-service-loan-forgiveness

I'm eligible to apply for forgiveness in Dec 2019. The best way to track your payments is to complete the employer certification form on a yearly basis. There are still ton of errors, but it is an easy way to track and deal with any issues ahead of time. I've paid on time, automatic withdraw, and discovered a few months ago that 5 of my payments in 2014 didn't qualify because they said I didn't pay. I went ahead and asked them to review this (because I know I paid...) and was told it will take 6 months. If I had not taken initiative, this would have delayed forgiveness an additional 6 months. Basically, don't trust them- be on them constantly. I've started recording phone calls.

Peachtea

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2019, 08:29:49 AM »
Iím sorry to report, but you are SOL. You might have been eligible for PSFL based on your job, but your loans were not eligible for forgiveness. Only direct loans are eligible and you had stafford loans.

Fed loan should have told you this, but instead they heard you say you needed lower payments and put you on the graduated plan, which is not even the plan that gets you the lowest payments. This is a common problem, especially was at that time period, and why I recommend people get all their info by reading the PSLF section on studentaud.ed.gov instead.

So until you consolidated in 2017, you had the wrong type of loans and weíre not eligible for forgiveness because of that. You also have to be in the right payment plan to be eligible for forgiveness. What payment plan are you on now? You should be on IBR, PAYE, or REPAYE (preferably PAYE if your eligible). If you are not on one of those plans, you are still not eligible so you need to double check that. Do NOT call fed loan, look at it yourself on your online account. Itís the only way to be sure.

TEPSLF program will not help you. That program is for all the people whose loan providers put them on the graduated plan instead of one of the eligible income based ones. Anyone who is denied for forgiveness based on being on the graduated plan, can then apply for TEPSLF for forgiveness. This wonít work for you because you also had the wrong loans. TEPSLF only works for those who had direct loans but were on graduated payment plans.

What can you do? You are left with advocacy: filing complaints with the ombudsman (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Student Loan Ombudsman) or FTC and calling/writing your congresspeople. File complaints about how you were told wrong info by the student loan servicer the government picked for your gov loans and now you lost nearly seven years of credit to a 10 year forgiveness program. Maybe google organizations that are working on this issue and advocating to Congress. Because until congress passes another temporary program, one for those who were not told to consolidate their loans when they asked about PSLF, there is no way for those years to count.

The other thing to consider is how much loans you have and whether itís worth now staying in the program for another 8+ years or if you should work on paying them off instead. You could do a case study in that section of the forum for advice on where to save money and what do to about your loans. You would need to provide the loan amounts and interest rates (separated out) to see if itís worth paying off early and your expenses/income to see how much you have to put towards them.

If you continue in the PSLF program, make sure you do as italianant advises and file the employer cert form annually to ensure your job is forgiveness eligible and to double check yearly that fed loan is counting your months correctly.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2019, 10:55:35 AM »
Sorry, but you are not a victim.  You need to grab your loans by the balls and stop with the "I was told" nonsense.

If you have a significant debt, and you just got on extended graduated just because someone told you to without researching it any further, I'm not sure what to tell you. The extended graduated plan does not include forgiveness; instead, it starts with a low payment that increases over a term of 25 years until the loans are paid off.

You originally called in thinking you could get forgiveness, they told you to get on extended graduated repayment -- this would lower your payment, which seemed to be your primary goal back in 2010/2011. You may not have been eligible for IBR/PAYE at that time, but those eligibility rules have since changed.  Anyway, as I said, all extended graduated does is lower your payment, and then increase over 25 years; it does not make you eligible for loan forgiveness.

And I'm inferencing here, but when you just recently called, since the eligibility and consolidation rules changed in the late Obama years, you are now eligible for IBR/PAYE/REPAYE, and now you're thinking you should have been eligible for forgiveness this whole time. That's incorrect. You need to re-apply for these income-based forgiveness programs every year.

Sorry, but you seem to have an extreme lack of knowledge about what's going on here.  You need to read up.

I'm not sure how much in loans you are talking about here, but my wife and I graduated with about $230,000 in student loans.  We read and read and read and read -- there's so much information out there -- and then attacked them as best we could.

I don't have some big success story to tell you, but it's been about five years of repayment, and we did pay my wife's student loans ($80,000) off, and are now attacking my loans.  We've done this through combinations of IBR/PAYE/etc. and targeting higher interest rate loans.

You need to read up, get educated on the various student loan repayment programs, what programs you are eligible for, what loan program would be best for your situation, and then go by your plan.

And sorry for the "facepunch" as they say on these forums, but you need it.  I'd be happy to help you if you wanted more insight on your student loans.  Post types of loans, interest rates, balance, your income information, etc.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 11:29:00 AM by ReadySetMillionaire »

charis

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2019, 11:49:59 AM »
Looks like you are not getting much sympathy here, but I will say that I'm sorry this happened to you because you got bad guidance from the loan servicing company.  There are a lot of people that are starting to recognize how badly Fed Loan servicing handled this program, and they are facing a lot of lawsuits because of it. 

Your biggest problems are that (1) unless your Stafford loans were in the direct loans program, they were never eligible for forgiveness and (2) a consolidation resets the PSLF clock, even if you had direct loans and had been on the right plan.  (And that is info that you could have learned from a basic internet search at any point during the life of your loans).

For either/both of these reasons, the temporary relief program (for people who were on a short list of ineligible plans), discussed below, would not apply to you.

You and a thousands of others were told wrong which is causing these problems of people not being qualified. They did create a budget for this issue (see link below), but my understanding is that you have to be eligible for the forgiveness program, then denied, then apply to access these funds. I don't know if once that money is gone, it's gone or that it will still remain available when you're eligible.

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service/temporary-expanded-public-service-loan-forgiveness

I'm eligible to apply for forgiveness in Dec 2019. The best way to track your payments is to complete the employer certification form on a yearly basis. There are still ton of errors, but it is an easy way to track and deal with any issues ahead of time. I've paid on time, automatic withdraw, and discovered a few months ago that 5 of my payments in 2014 didn't qualify because they said I didn't pay. I went ahead and asked them to review this (because I know I paid...) and was told it will take 6 months. If I had not taken initiative, this would have delayed forgiveness an additional 6 months. Basically, don't trust them- be on them constantly. I've started recording phone calls.

FireAnt

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2019, 11:58:47 AM »
Sorry, but you are not a victim.  You need to grab your loans by the balls and stop with the "I was told" nonsense.

If you have a significant debt, and you just got on extended graduated just because someone told you to without researching it any further, I'm not sure what to tell you. The extended graduated plan does not include forgiveness; instead, it starts with a low payment that increases over a term of 25 years until the loans are paid off.

You originally called in thinking you could get forgiveness, they told you to get on extended graduated repayment -- this would lower your payment, which seemed to be your primary goal back in 2010/2011. You may not have been eligible for IBR/PAYE at that time, but those eligibility rules have since changed.  Anyway, as I said, all extended graduated does is lower your payment, and then increase over 25 years; it does not make you eligible for loan forgiveness.

And I'm inferencing here, but when you just recently called, since the eligibility and consolidation rules changed in the late Obama years, you are now eligible for IBR/PAYE/REPAYE, and now you're thinking you should have been eligible for forgiveness this whole time. That's incorrect. You need to re-apply for these income-based forgiveness programs every year.

Sorry, but you seem to have an extreme lack of knowledge about what's going on here.  You need to read up.

I'm not sure how much in loans you are talking about here, but my wife and I graduated with about $230,000 in student loans.  We read and read and read and read -- there's so much information out there -- and then attacked them as best we could.

I don't have some big success story to tell you, but it's been about five years of repayment, and we did pay my wife's student loans ($80,000) off, and are now attacking my loans.  We've done this through combinations of IBR/PAYE/etc. and targeting higher interest rate loans.

You need to read up, get educated on the various student loan repayment programs, what programs you are eligible for, what loan program would be best for your situation, and then go by your plan.

And sorry for the "facepunch" as they say on these forums, but you need it.  I'd be happy to help you if you wanted more insight on your student loans.  Post types of loans, interest rates, balance, your income information, etc.

Yes, research is important. But the fact that the loan servicer gave the wrong information also places them at fault. The OP is not the only person who was misinformed by loan servicers, biggest one seemingly being Navient. I don't think it's fair to put it completely on her. I can't remember how I became on the correct payment plan in 2009-- whether it was the loan servicer actually providing accurate information, or whether I researched it. I do remember that everything surrounding the program was extremely vague as the answer of "I don't know" was common to questions I had asked. I recall once that I was told that because there were so many years before the first wave of people would be eligible, they haven't figured it out yet or had a form to complete (specifically to how they were tracking what employment qualified when I was considering a job change).

therethere

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2019, 12:17:21 PM »
Forget about loan forgiveness and just pay them. You likely won't get anywhere getting credit for past payments. Chalk it up to a life lesson to pay attention to your $$$ closer in the future.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2019, 12:20:56 PM »
Yes, research is important. But the fact that the loan servicer gave the wrong information also places them at fault. The OP is not the only person who was misinformed by loan servicers, biggest one seemingly being Navient. I don't think it's fair to put it completely on her. I can't remember how I became on the correct payment plan in 2009-- whether it was the loan servicer actually providing accurate information, or whether I researched it. I do remember that everything surrounding the program was extremely vague as the answer of "I don't know" was common to questions I had asked. I recall once that I was told that because there were so many years before the first wave of people would be eligible, they haven't figured it out yet or had a form to complete (specifically to how they were tracking what employment qualified when I was considering a job change).

I agree @italianant, but at no point did anything in OP's original post reflect that the loan servicer told OP anything inaccurate. Read it closely:

I began repaying my 4 loans, 2 Stafford subsidized and 2 unsubsidized in 2010. In 2011 I called My Fed Loan to tell them my payments were too high and that I qualify for the loan forgiveness program. I was told that I should be on the extended graduate repayment plan. I switched to the extended graduate repayment plan and called in 2017 to confirm the amount of payments made eligible for loan forgiveness. I was told that I would need to consolidate my loans and then they would send me my total months for eligible payments. I did this and it lowered my payments $20.00 but now they are saying I only became eligible for loan forgiveness in 2017 when I called for an update and consolidated. I was paying more in the other program they said I need to be on and have never missed a payment. How can I get credit for these years? I have been eligible for the program since I began paying my loans in 2010. Any tips or advice will be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

OP called in wanting loan forgiveness because OP could not afford the regular payments.  OP was then told to get on extended graduated, which does not include anything about forgiveness, but instead lowers monthly payments. This satisfied OP's immediate goal back then. OP then set around for 7-8 years until realizing these loans might not be eligible for forgiveness.

This is deeply alarming to me since anything regarding forgiveness requires annual re-certification.  These re-certifications are sent to you via regular mail and via email and via alerts in your account. They are impossible to miss.  I know because I've been using these for going on six years now.

I can see a loan servicer screwing up the various income-based repayment plans, or whether loans were eligible for PSLF. You're right, Naviant got screwed for this.  I didn't see as much for My Fed Loan. But  I simply cannot see a loan servicer screwing up extended graduated repayment plans as being eligible for forgiveness.  That is just elementary, and that's not what OP said what happened.

Seems like OP called in with a goal to lower payments, got that issue resolved and then ASSUMED OP was eligible for forgiveness.  That's on OP, not the servicer.

And I agree with the above -- just pay them off at this point.

Rural

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2019, 07:37:49 PM »

This is deeply alarming to me since anything regarding forgiveness requires annual re-certification.  These re-certifications are sent to you via regular mail and via email and via alerts in your account. They are impossible to miss.  I know because I've been using these for going on six years now.



This is not true for PSLF. I've been getting my payments certified annually for six or seven years now (as long as they've had the mechanism to judge payments in PSLF), and every single year I have to go get the form off the website - nothing is sent to me wither in the mail or in email, and I do get regular correspondence of both sorts from Fedloan. And the re-certification is not required, though I'm glad now, with all the upheaval, that I've gone to the trouble to do it. All those letters from the feds listing out how many qualifying payments I've made and how many I have to go should come in handy next year when I hit 120.




FireAnt

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2019, 07:46:35 AM »

This is deeply alarming to me since anything regarding forgiveness requires annual re-certification.  These re-certifications are sent to you via regular mail and via email and via alerts in your account. They are impossible to miss.  I know because I've been using these for going on six years now.



This is not true for PSLF. I've been getting my payments certified annually for six or seven years now (as long as they've had the mechanism to judge payments in PSLF), and every single year I have to go get the form off the website - nothing is sent to me wither in the mail or in email, and I do get regular correspondence of both sorts from Fedloan. And the re-certification is not required, though I'm glad now, with all the upheaval, that I've gone to the trouble to do it. All those letters from the feds listing out how many qualifying payments I've made and how many I have to go should come in handy next year when I hit 120.

You are right about this @Rural  The recertification that is sent yearly is to determine your payments for income, not employer certification. If you're not in the right payment plan, then you wouldn't be getting that correspondence.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2019, 08:07:52 AM »
You are right about this @Rural  The recertification that is sent yearly is to determine your payments for income, not employer certification. If you're not in the right payment plan, then you wouldn't be getting that correspondence.

Right, which is why it's odd that OP would think he/she was in a repayment plan that had forgiveness when all of those require re-certification annually. Sorry for being harsh, but I don't know how you could be an adult with student loans and not know this.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2019, 08:17:13 AM by ReadySetMillionaire »

simonsez

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2019, 08:42:45 AM »
Yeah, I talked to someone way back in the day and decided it wasn't for me.  I had the right job and type of loan to qualify at the time but wasn't sure I would ten years later.  I even discussed this with the person on the phone and explained that even with normal pay raises (federal GS 9/11/12 track back then) I wouldn't qualify for one of the payment plans a few years down the road (IIRC IBR and ICR only existed at the time).  I want to say something about my wife earning money added to discretionary income, maybe that's wrong but there was something like that.  Anyway, the only other "option" (via a qualifying plan) would be to go to Standard repayment, which of course doesn't have any forgiveness after 10 years because by definition after 120 payments the balance is $0.  The woman then replied, "Now you're getting it, this program is not for you."  So I did some more confusing research and decided to knock it out myself.

It's frustrating OP to have confusing info but at the same time you can't stick your head in the sand for years and then pop back up and be like "whoa, not cool, someone bail me out!"  Still, better late than never and I'm sure you'll never forget these lessons.  Good luck!

civil4life

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2019, 03:17:55 PM »
I started my repayments in 2008.  At the time Great Lakes was managing my student loans.  After graduation I consolidated my loans into one unsub and one sub loan.  I spoke to Great Lakes at the time (2 times and through letter) confirming I was eligible for PLSF.  I was told every time my repayment plan was eligible.  Sometime around 2010-11 my loan changed hands to FedLoan Servicing.  At that time I learned about the Employee Certification Form and submitted it.  When I got it back saying that no payments were eligible.  I contacted FedLoan.  They said the repayment plan I had with Great Lakes was not eligible.  I fought and even with my written documentation they refused to include all of my previous payments. 

I got everything fixed and started over.  Up until Sept. 17 I had been plugging away at my loan.  Overall my loan was small and I have a good income so I did not have much discounted IBR.  For me if you calculated out the amount of interest I would have paid vs the amount forgiven it was pretty much a wash.  Tired of the payment and the current political climate I decided to refinance my loan through SoFi.  I more than halved the interest rate and number of payments.  I still have 3.5 years left on the loan, but will end up paying less in the end.

Rural

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2019, 07:41:03 AM »

This is deeply alarming to me since anything regarding forgiveness requires annual re-certification.  These re-certifications are sent to you via regular mail and via email and via alerts in your account. They are impossible to miss.  I know because I've been using these for going on six years now.



This is not true for PSLF. I've been getting my payments certified annually for six or seven years now (as long as they've had the mechanism to judge payments in PSLF), and every single year I have to go get the form off the website - nothing is sent to me wither in the mail or in email, and I do get regular correspondence of both sorts from Fedloan. And the re-certification is not required, though I'm glad now, with all the upheaval, that I've gone to the trouble to do it. All those letters from the feds listing out how many qualifying payments I've made and how many I have to go should come in handy next year when I hit 120.

You are right about this @Rural  The recertification that is sent yearly is to determine your payments for income, not employer certification. If you're not in the right payment plan, then you wouldn't be getting that correspondence.


Right, the income-based plans require income recertification roughly annually (seems to me it's about 14 months by the time it all gets done, so the due date gets pushed back a couple months each year). But the repayment plans require that whether or not you're on PSLF.

Peachtea

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2019, 09:20:54 AM »
If OP is still reading I wanted to clarify something. Normally today if someone has forgiveness eligible loans they refer to them as direct loans. There are direct stafford loans that are eligible (referred to as direct loans), but direct stafford loans only started being loaned out in 2010. So if you started paying stafford loans then, presumably they were loaned pre-2010 and were the non eligible ones under FFEL. That info is just for your full understanding. It probably wouldnít matter now if you had direct stafford loans, because once you consolidate the clock starts over.

I think some your criticisms are too harsh RSM. You missed his ďand.Ē He called saying he payments were too high AND that he was eligible for forgiveness. Thatís means I want lower loans and I want info on forgiveness. Fed loan should have told him that his loans were not eligible for forgiveness unless he consolidated. Anytime someone mentions forgiveness to a servicer they should check that heís actuallly set up for it. Fed loan also should have told him he needed to apply for an IDR plan to be eligible and get the lowest payments.

He may have got lower payments, but they didnít even advise him correctly on what plan would get him the lowest payment. And youíre dead wrong about a servicer advising incorrectly on payment plan because itís elementary. That is exactly why TEPSLF exists, because all the servicers were frequently incorrectly advising people to go on the graduated plan. They still are! Another person posting on here said they called fedloan recently and asked for lower payment plan. They suggested a plan that would barely lower his payments and based on the amount they said I suspect they suggested the graduated plan. They never told him to apply for an IDR plan! Which when you run his info in the Dept of ED estimator, a PAYE plan was over $500 less than the amount for the plan they suggested. Why would they make such an elementary mistake? Laziness and incompetence. Itís easier to steer people to graduated plans, because itís something they can do immediately on the phone. No need to explain to people how to apply for an IDR plan. And frankly they have no clue whatís eligible or not for forgiveness now, but especially not back in 2010. They are just customer service folks in a call center using computer prompts. But people call thinking they are talking to a loan advisor or someone knowledgeable.

And yes, anyone on an IDR plan knows they have to recert every year. But if youíve never been on one, never had to cert your income, why would expect that was required? Especially if you call for info on lowering payments and they donít tell you about the application for IDR?

So Iím very sympathetic to all those who were part of the first wave, when there was not good information online and the servicers were all providing wrong info. I can also see why people who thought they had everything set wouldnít bother to check in later, because if theyíre making payments on time on the plan they were told to do, why would they assume something was wrong?

However, OPs situation did exasperate me because 2017!?! When I graduate in 2014 there were tons of things in the news about PSLF errors, people losing years of credits, complaints about servicer wrongdoings, etc. I can believe getting wrong info and not realizing anything was wrong the first few years. But itís hard to believe anyone not living under a rock hadnít heard about the problems pre-2017 and hadnít thought ĎI should look into this to make sure Iím not like those people who got screwed over.í

Yes, today people should be doing their own research. And you can find everything you need to know online. But there wasnít that much info out there earlier on. Plus, some people have this greatly misguided notion that they canít tell whatís valid online, but if they call their servicer they have to know whatís right and then they are guaranteed correct info. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

FireAnt

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2019, 10:39:10 AM »
If OP is still reading I wanted to clarify something. Normally today if someone has forgiveness eligible loans they refer to them as direct loans. There are direct stafford loans that are eligible (referred to as direct loans), but direct stafford loans only started being loaned out in 2010. So if you started paying stafford loans then, presumably they were loaned pre-2010 and were the non eligible ones under FFEL. That info is just for your full understanding. It probably wouldnít matter now if you had direct stafford loans, because once you consolidate the clock starts over.

I think some your criticisms are too harsh RSM. You missed his ďand.Ē He called saying he payments were too high AND that he was eligible for forgiveness. Thatís means I want lower loans and I want info on forgiveness. Fed loan should have told him that his loans were not eligible for forgiveness unless he consolidated. Anytime someone mentions forgiveness to a servicer they should check that heís actuallly set up for it. Fed loan also should have told him he needed to apply for an IDR plan to be eligible and get the lowest payments.

He may have got lower payments, but they didnít even advise him correctly on what plan would get him the lowest payment. And youíre dead wrong about a servicer advising incorrectly on payment plan because itís elementary. That is exactly why TEPSLF exists, because all the servicers were frequently incorrectly advising people to go on the graduated plan. They still are! Another person posting on here said they called fedloan recently and asked for lower payment plan. They suggested a plan that would barely lower his payments and based on the amount they said I suspect they suggested the graduated plan. They never told him to apply for an IDR plan! Which when you run his info in the Dept of ED estimator, a PAYE plan was over $500 less than the amount for the plan they suggested. Why would they make such an elementary mistake? Laziness and incompetence. Itís easier to steer people to graduated plans, because itís something they can do immediately on the phone. No need to explain to people how to apply for an IDR plan. And frankly they have no clue whatís eligible or not for forgiveness now, but especially not back in 2010. They are just customer service folks in a call center using computer prompts. But people call thinking they are talking to a loan advisor or someone knowledgeable.

And yes, anyone on an IDR plan knows they have to recert every year. But if youíve never been on one, never had to cert your income, why would expect that was required? Especially if you call for info on lowering payments and they donít tell you about the application for IDR?

So Iím very sympathetic to all those who were part of the first wave, when there was not good information online and the servicers were all providing wrong info. I can also see why people who thought they had everything set wouldnít bother to check in later, because if theyíre making payments on time on the plan they were told to do, why would they assume something was wrong?

However, OPs situation did exasperate me because 2017!?! When I graduate in 2014 there were tons of things in the news about PSLF errors, people losing years of credits, complaints about servicer wrongdoings, etc. I can believe getting wrong info and not realizing anything was wrong the first few years. But itís hard to believe anyone not living under a rock hadnít heard about the problems pre-2017 and hadnít thought ĎI should look into this to make sure Iím not like those people who got screwed over.í

Yes, today people should be doing their own research. And you can find everything you need to know online. But there wasnít that much info out there earlier on. Plus, some people have this greatly misguided notion that they canít tell whatís valid online, but if they call their servicer they have to know whatís right and then they are guaranteed correct info. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

YES! You read my thoughts--- and articulated them better. :)

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2019, 11:20:02 AM »
However, OPs situation did exasperate me because 2017!?! When I graduate in 2014 there were tons of things in the news about PSLF errors, people losing years of credits, complaints about servicer wrongdoings, etc. I can believe getting wrong info and not realizing anything was wrong the first few years. But itís hard to believe anyone not living under a rock hadnít heard about the problems pre-2017 and hadnít thought ĎI should look into this to make sure Iím not like those people who got screwed over.í

Yes, today people should be doing their own research. And you can find everything you need to know online. But there wasnít that much info out there earlier on. Plus, some people have this greatly misguided notion that they canít tell whatís valid online, but if they call their servicer they have to know whatís right and then they are guaranteed correct info. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

I concede you are correct that I am applying hindsight here, and that things weren't that obvious back then. I am being too harsh OP, and sorry for that.

Hell, the reason I found myself with $150,000 in debt when I graduated versus $110,000 was because I was too dumb and lazy to figure out that interest capitalized. So I could see missing something ten years ago.

But like you said, student loans have been more and more and more and more in the news since about 2012 or 2013. I saw this when I graduated law school in 2014 and, by the time I was done researching student loans, probably could have written an E-book on the subject.

Bigger picture here, I think every responsible adult should sit down every year and go line-by-line on all fixed monthly costs.  Can you lower the car insurance? Time to get rid of cable? Why is my heating bill so high? And here, is my student loan payment the lowest it can be?

Again, I concede that I'm being too harsh here; but there's a lot going on here that leads me to believe that OP is not taking responsibility, and that bothers me.

Megma

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2019, 01:56:52 PM »

Again, I concede that I'm being too harsh here; but there's a lot going on here that leads me to believe that OP is not taking responsibility, and that bothers me.

Think there was a generation of students who were told "get these loans to pay for school and when you're done, you'll get an AMAZING job and it will be easily paid back." We now know that was total BS. The economy crashed around the time many, with big loans, graduated. The conversation around student indebtedness has definitely changed significantly and we need to balance the need for personal responsibility with awareness that basically kids (I was 18 years 1 week old when I started college) were preyed on by loan companies.

Also, we seriously need to look at the funding model for universities in the US. Tuition rates are insane and there needs again to be some balance.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2019, 07:35:01 AM »

Again, I concede that I'm being too harsh here; but there's a lot going on here that leads me to believe that OP is not taking responsibility, and that bothers me.

Think there was a generation of students who were told "get these loans to pay for school and when you're done, you'll get an AMAZING job and it will be easily paid back." We now know that was total BS. The economy crashed around the time many, with big loans, graduated. The conversation around student indebtedness has definitely changed significantly and we need to balance the need for personal responsibility with awareness that basically kids (I was 18 years 1 week old when I started college) were preyed on by loan companies.

Also, we seriously need to look at the funding model for universities in the US. Tuition rates are insane and there needs again to be some balance.

I completely agree with you regarding funding, college costs, etc. 

Being a law school graduate, I heard the same promises of dream jobs and high salaries.  "Go to the best school you can, and if you get good grades, you'll get a big law job making $145,000 a year when you graduate." When all was said and done, I graduated with loans amounting to $148,000, most of it interest capitalization.  Then I graduated with a job earning $47,500 per year. 

But never, ever, ever did I make myself a victim. I used REPAYE as a hedge for about four years, and now that I'm earning more, I'm attacking my loans.

I'll go to what I said in my first line of this thread: "You need to grab your loans by the balls."
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 07:36:32 AM by ReadySetMillionaire »

charis

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2019, 08:05:59 AM »

Again, I concede that I'm being too harsh here; but there's a lot going on here that leads me to believe that OP is not taking responsibility, and that bothers me.

Think there was a generation of students who were told "get these loans to pay for school and when you're done, you'll get an AMAZING job and it will be easily paid back." We now know that was total BS. The economy crashed around the time many, with big loans, graduated. The conversation around student indebtedness has definitely changed significantly and we need to balance the need for personal responsibility with awareness that basically kids (I was 18 years 1 week old when I started college) were preyed on by loan companies.

Also, we seriously need to look at the funding model for universities in the US. Tuition rates are insane and there needs again to be some balance.

I completely agree with you regarding funding, college costs, etc. 

Being a law school graduate, I heard the same promises of dream jobs and high salaries.  "Go to the best school you can, and if you get good grades, you'll get a big law job making $145,000 a year when you graduate." When all was said and done, I graduated with loans amounting to $148,000, most of it interest capitalization.  Then I graduated with a job earning $47,500 per year. 

But never, ever, ever did I make myself a victim. I used REPAYE as a hedge for about four years, and now that I'm earning more, I'm attacking my loans.

I'll go to what I said in my first line of this thread: "You need to grab your loans by the balls."

I don't think calling out the misleading practices of student loan servicers makes anyone a victim.  And it's problematic that 90% of the response to such complaints is basically - pay your loans, no one deserves a free ride.   That may be true, but it derails the conversation about a problem that already exists in the realm of a much bigger problem (the insane cost of higher education). 

Yes, borrowers need to be more aware.  But these servicers actively participated/participate in misinformation, opaque procedures/practices, and blocking borrowers' access to information that would increase their understanding of these programs and how they are serviced.  Why wouldn't borrowers believe that "Fed" loan servicing is on their side? 

Peachtea

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2019, 11:55:40 AM »
Oh hey, @ReadySetMillionaire we graduated law school the same year! Except you were smarter about it than me, because I left with 210k fed (now 250k) and 30k private (now gone). Although thatís for undergrad and law school. My biggest downfall was 21 year old me only looked at the difference in tuition and not tuition+COL when choosing law schools. (Duh!)

I went in 90% sure I wanted to do public interest, so I had specifically looked at PSLF in 2010 when deciding to apply and didnít see warning bells then. I also had looked at employment statistics going in, which we now know weíre very misleading. But by the time I graduated law school, lots of warning bells about PSLF and info on declining market for attorneys. I noticed that now my school, which has a fair number go to biglaw, drastically changed how it reports employment statistics. It now breaks out salaries by practice type (biglaw, midsize, small, solo, gov, nonprofit) and lists how many students got what type of job. Before the biglaw salaries skewed the employment statistics badly.

I do in a sense feel like a victim of the system and have some bitterness over that. I grew up blue collar and all the advice was weíre losing our jobs, you need to go to college no matter the cost so you donít end up in the same situation. Law school is a great idea! Look how much youíll be able to make to repay student loans. Besides receiving that advice I had looked for info online, and didnít find anything that made me even think twice about reconsidering. I made some mistakes as a young, naive person but a good chunk of the blame (I feel) goes to the above. And that doesnít mean Iím waiting for someone to solve all my problems now. Who wants to rely on other people?!?

So I think there is lots of room to be sympathetic to students who made decisions based on misinformation or predatory practices and who had no control of the markets when graduating; use that to advocate for changes in how student loans, tuition, information about employment opportunities etc work so the same issues donít happen to future students; advocate for relief to those subject to predatory practices; AND also expect that those students in the meanwhile are working hard to take control of their situation by paying off what they can or being smart about the various forgiveness or repayment benefits to dig themselves out.

I canít change the advice I recieved or the misleading info I relied upon. But like you RSM I can (and did) do something about my situation - cutting expenses to paying off private loans ASAP, learning everything I could to make sure my PSLF experience goes as smoothly as possible, being very careful about jumping through the hoops, using extra money for savings in case I switch to private sector etc. I get that your frustration with OP is that while a good chunk of his situation isnít his fault, it doesnít appear he was very proactive in helping himself either. So kutos to you for recognizing you were too harsh in discounting the former, and yes, I agree with your assessment (based on the little info we have) about the later.

My pet peeve on here though are people (not referring to you RSM) who somehow think PSLF is the equivalency of bankruptcy or that its immoral to use the program. Why should I not use a program part of my loan agreement that I relied upon when deciding to take them out in the first place? Taking advantage of a program designed to enourage public service is no different than taking advantage of mortgage interest deduction - a program designed to encourage homeownership. Even the 20/25 year forgiveness program is one designed to encourage preparedness for retirement, recognizing by that point the gov probably will have recouped initial expenses and regardless itís more important to encourage reitrement savings. They are both baked into the promissory agreement we signed and people would be silly to not use those options if best financially for them. OTOH, not enough people are savvy about figuring out if those programs really are benefial to them or if they would be better served paying off the loans ASAP instead. Encouraging people to do that calculation is great. Encouraging people to pay them off when not the most advantageous ďbecause they borrowed the money they should repay it allĒ is ridiculous and like encouraging people not deduct mortgage interest.

mm1970

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Re: Student Loan Forgiveness-Told Wrong Plan
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2019, 01:20:48 PM »
Quote
So I think there is lots of room to be sympathetic to students who made decisions based on misinformation or predatory practices and who had no control of the markets when graduating; use that to advocate for changes in how student loans, tuition, information about employment opportunities etc work so the same issues donít happen to future students; advocate for relief to those subject to predatory practices; AND also expect that those students in the meanwhile are working hard to take control of their situation by paying off what they can or being smart about the various forgiveness or repayment benefits to dig themselves out.

This is on point.