Student Loan Forgiveness

Student loan debt is a serious concern for students all over the country, as has been proven by the incredible response to a group created on Facebook by a law school graduate (who is $80,000 in debt), called “Cancel Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy.” Under certain circumstances, the federal government will cancel the debt from all or part of an education loan. This is the process of student loan forgiveness. Considering the troubled economy plus a growing number of students who, after graduating, cannot afford their monthly payments on their modest salaries, it is no wonder this group got the frenzy of attention it did.   

The Little Facebook Group That Could

Robert Appelbaum created the “Cancel Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy” Facebook group in response to the recurring news about business executives being bailed out by the government and using the money for bonuses and other luxuries. Rather than complain to his friends, he created the Facebook group only to find, to his surprise, that in a relatively short period of time, over 100,000 people joined. Not only did they click a button – which is all it takes to be a member of one of the thousands of Facebook groups out there – but they were taking action, calling for Congress to take legislative action towards student loan forgiveness.

Buried in Debt: Students Struggle 

Robert found that his story – whereby the modest salary of $36,000 a year that he made right out of law school was not enough to keep up with his monthly payments towards his $80,000 student loan and caused him to go into forbearance for 5 years – was far from unusual.  Ultimately, he ended up with a total loan amount of $100,000, sometimes making him regret getting an education in the first place.

All over the country, there are similar stories since so many students seeking a higher education cannot afford it without taking out either federal and/or private student loans. According to the Project on Student Debt, the average debs of students graduating with loans rose from $18,796 in 2006 to $20,098 in 2007. FinAid.org reports that in 2008 there were nearly $131 billion in outstanding private loans and $544 billion in outstanding federal loans.

Students Look for Help

This growing Facebook group is looking for help with their overwhelming monthly payments, restrictive repayment plans and that they may eventually have their loan forgiven.

Promising Plans for Federal Loan Borrowers 

Some plans are being established for federal loan borrowers including the Income-Based Repayment Plan and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Plan. Both plans promise to make adjustments on monthly payments based on the borrowers income and loan forgiveness after an allotted period of time. Other plans include the Income-Contingent Repayment Plan for Direct Loan holders and Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan for FFEL Loan holders, also impacting the monthly payments and ultimate forgiveness of the loans.

Room for Growth for Private Loan Legislation Change

Private loan borrowers have less promising chances for student loan forgiveness, but there are those that are fighting for changes to legislation preventing private student loans from being forgiven as bankruptcy cases.

With the economy in the trouble it is in, and the student loan laws overwhelming so many Americans, there is no better time than the present to join forces and call for change. And Facebook is an excellent place to rally the groups.

Sources:  ”Asking for Student Loan Forgiveness”, BusinessWeek.com, ”Difficulty Repaying”, Student Aid on the Web, Project on Student Debt

7 comments to “Student Loan Forgiveness”

  1. I am going through the same there with my private loans I am so glad to see there is something going on about this I felt all alone. I haven’t even finished school because i am afraid to go farther into debt. I have such good credit and now it is going to be ruined because I have to make the choice in whether I can pay back my outragous loans or take care of my family (I have a baby girl). They give you no choices or help with the private loans and I can’t afford them. I definitely regret going to school because of how much it has hurt my finances. I hope there is something we can do because I wouldn’t want my daughter to be haunted but school loans like I am. How do I become a part of the group to fight for help with these private loans? Thanks for working hard towards this fight!

  2. Keri–

    The Facebook group still exists (Cancel Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy) but the best way to stay up-to-date with this movement is by becoming a fan of Robert Applebaum.

    Best of luck!
    Sandra Proulx
    Community Manager
    EducationGrant.com

  3. Mr. Appelbaum,

    I have filed bankruptcy w/in the last 3years. Last January I attended an adversary proceeding that I myself filed and initiated. I of course was denied
    because the Judge would dare not make a decision in my favor in fear of
    opening the “flood gates”..,however he did say that I met the “hardship”
    but I did not meet “undue” hardship…..nothing like splitting hairs

  4. You people are out of your minds if you think a facebook group is going to solve anything. I have $124,000 of school debt in there is no relief in sight, do you actually think the government cares about you? Get a grip.

  5. I was trying to listen to Barak Obama State of the Union Speech about student loan forgiveness after 20 years.
    This loan I have is 28 years old. The school received the loans in 1982. I went to taht particular school for only 2 months. The school took the loans and used them, now they still are harrasing me about paying back the money which I never seen a penny of. Is there any place to go to, or someone to talk to about this old loan. I payed back over 3,000 alrady and have been in deferment for 5 years. Now I have to file a deferment for unemployment every 6 months for 36 months.
    What is our country really about? I am 55 years old now.

    olivia

  6. Hi Olivia,

    Thanks for reading! I would talk to someone who specifically knows about your financial situation – whether it be someone at your bank, or a loan officer, a financial advisor, or even a lawyer – to help you figure out how to get rid of this old loan once and for all. Your best bet is to seek out some professional help. We wish you all the best, and hope everything works out for you in the end!

    EducationGrant Editor

  7. I am 125,000 in debt. I graduate from college with a bachelor degree and couldn’t find a decent job back in August of 2008. After still failing to find work I am back in school. I am getting a degree in health information management which I hope will give me a good job. I am married but my husband has student loans and we just make it each month. I just found out I am pregnant and am very scared. What can I do to get help? I will never be able to pay off these loans. I will be in debt for life. This is more then a house payment. The loans started off with me thinking I would find work and not being able to they have sky rocketed with interest. Please help!

    Ashlye

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