Need Help- Contacted by Pioneer Credit Recovery

Good Afternoon,

I was advised to speak with someone in this organization from the 'I Am Ai ’ Facebook group regarding debt validation.

My name is Danielle Grimes and I attended the Art Institute of Atlanta from 2003 - 2009 for a BA in Media Arts and Animation. Although I did graduate, I still haven’t received my diploma as my loans ran out and the final classes I was unable to pay out of pocket.

During my final years at the school, I never received any guidance to apply for internships or assistance in looking for jobs in my field. A major network that shows animation 24/7 on its channel would refuse to visit portfolio shows as they were aware of how the graduates lacked the education or fundamental skills as an animator.

Fast forward to now, I have not been able to pay any of my Federal loans due to financial hardship and the impossible to pay monthly balance. I literally live paycheck to paycheck to ensure that my rent and utilities, car note and living expenses are met.

My loans have been written off and sent to Ascendium who have now passed them to a collections agency called Pioneer Credit Recovery.
This agency has now contacted my job and relatives of whom which I did not provide that information. Is this legal?

I have recently learned that the debt I unfortunately acquired from a fraudulent for profit ‘school’ can be disputed via debt validation. I plan to send them a letter but would like to know if an email be sent to request debt validation for federal student loans , or does it have to be a written/typed letter sent via postal service?

Because of the time frame that I attended the Art Institute, would I possibly qualify for loan forgiveness?

Any advice would be helpful at this time.

Hi @Dani,

Since you attended Art Institute I would file a borrower defense to repayment application. You can do that here:

A borrower defense to repayment only covers federal student loans. It may take you a long time before the Department of Education makes a decision about your loans, but in the meantime your account should be placed into an administrative forbearance or stopped collection status.

I’m not sure if this collection company that is contacting you is doing so about private student loans or federal student loans. If they are private loans, you can file a dispute through the debt collective here: Dispute a Private Student Loan — The Debt Collective