How a student loan can ruin your life

STUDENT LOAN STORIES: You are not alone with this burden. Many people are struggling to find ways to repay their student loans. Here are some of the student loan stories sent to me by people who have visited this site.

Your story is similar to mine!
I am waiting right now to see if they will dismiss my loan from 1987. I had no GED or HS Diploma and my student loan ballooned to $16,000!

They have had my dismissal papers since Feb. 5th and they say I will not hear anything until around May 2nd. I am praying so hard that it is dismissed. This loan has practically RUINED MY LIFE!

They take my husbands tax refund every year and through an injured spouse form, he can get half of it back. They waited over 20 years to start doing this! My husband was so surprised last year when we got the notice that neither of us knew about until we did our taxes.

I am sick of the department of education. They had the nerve to call my landlady and ask her if I lived here and wanted information on me. I don't think that was right of them to do. I don't even know if that was legal for them to do.

My story:
I was 22 years old and had a 5 year old daughter and I desperately wanted to have a good job to take care of her. I went to LAWTON Business College and took secretarial courses. I signed a lot of papers and I don't remember any tests or anything, but I do know that
I didn't have a ged or hs diploma.

The school was suppose to place me in a job and guess what....... the school CLOSED! Now I know when I went there, I didn't sign for a $16,000 loan it got that large over 20 years.

I don't work I had an injury in 2003 and can't, but I don't have disability yet, but it is applied for. I was told you can claim to have a dismissal on disability also, but I haven't heard anything about my claim on that yet.

If I were you I'd try to get it dismissed again. There has to be a lawyer you can talk to about this. Good Luck to all of us who tried to better our lives and got smacked by the department of education and their rude employees.

Thank you

Very similar stories!

By boyfriend enrolled in a computer programming school in 1987 and physically attended for approximately 90 days of a 13 month program. For personal reasons he had to take a 90 day deferment in August of 87 and was told by the schools secretary to come back and re-start in November (he did NOT get any type of deferment approval letter from the Dept of Ed which we NOW know he should have!) When he returned in November the school had CLOSED . There was no contact info on the door and he was unable to get ahold of any school representative. Being a 24 year old “kid” he went on with his life never anticipating that he would be held financially responsible for something that was beyond his control.

Fastforward to 1997. He learned, in a not so nice way, he was still responsible for his outstanding debt quite a few years later when he and his former wife’s tax refund was unexpectedly intercepted.
He explained to the DEO & its collection agency representatives (repeatedly) that the school had closed on him while he was on deferment but they were adamant that he was still responsible for the debt and NEVER told him he could apply for a discharge under the “closed school” premise. His story has remained the same all of these years but he has no proof because his personal paperwork is long gone and his records that by Missouri law were supposed to be held at the Missouri Dept of Higher Ed (or other approved facility) are conveniently missing. I believe his ongoing honesty with the Dept of Ed and its representatives led them to believe he couldn’t prove anything and that they had had him so they continued harassing him and intercepting his refunds every year. In an act of defiance my bf stopped filing his taxes in 2005. Not the smartest thing to do, but he was angry and for him it was a matter of principle.

When we got together in 2010 his initial $4000.00 loan had ballooned to $14K with the fees, 12% interest, and collection costs. I got him to understand that no matter what happened this was NOT going to go away and he was burying himself by ignoring the debt with the DOE and NOW with the IRS!!!

We began intense talks with the Dept of Ed and spent two years trying to gather proof that the school closed. We have a few different websites that mention the school closed in 1987 but the DEO says this isn’t enough proof (go figure). We went ahead and filed for a “closed school” discharge and also an “unpaid refund” discharge which were both ultimately denied. The closed school application was denied because the DEO records state the school officially closed in July of 88 which might be the official date on record but it was NOT the physical date. We’ve been told by a DOE rep that unfortunately, inaccurate school closure dates have been a big problem for students trying to qualify for a closed school discharge. It seems to us that the closure date was intentionally put off, by either the DOE or the school, to prevent students from qualifying for a discharge.

As far as the “unpaid refund” discharge application he was denied as well, on the grounds that the DOE records show he GRADUATED in Feb of 88 (although in previous conversations with the DOE we were told they show he withdrew a WEEK after he enrolled?!) We were absolutely FLOORED when we heard these things come out of two different representatives mouths! Especially because my boyfriend was only given a loan for the first quarter of the program! HOW could he have possibly graduated the following year without more student loans?! To make things even MORE shadey… when we first went on the DOE student website and looked up his loan records he didn’t have a “status”. But after receiving the unpaid refund denial we went back into the website and it showed his status had changed to GRADUATED! What is going ON here?!

It makes me livid (but not as livid as my boyfriend) that NO ONE from the DEO (not even our DOE ombudsman) will investigate the discrepancies in his file or research other students that were attending the same year to help validate his claim. Instead, they remain adamant that he has no choice but to pay the money since he has no proof. We are certain that someone along the line has falsified documents and likely on more than one occasion! To this day we are still talking with the DOE and their stance is still the same – “PROVE IT or PAY IT!” Isn't that just like our system…. Guilty until you can prove yourself innocent. I will NEVER, EVER recommend ANYONE to take out a student loan after what the Dept of Education has put him through. Their lack of assistance and obstinate behavior is inexcusable!

As of today, I have set up a compromise with the ombudsman to pay them a lump sum settlement (my total 2012 tax refund and then some) to make this finally GO AWAY …. Unfortunately my anger over the injustice of it all won't be so easy to get rid of.


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