Hello! I am brand new here and relieved to have found you. I found myself divorced and a single mother in my late 30’s. I toyed with the idea of college in an effort to improve my ability to generate enough income to support myself and my daughter. Living in the deep south where employment options are already very limited, I live in one of the two poorest counties in the state, I responded to an ad I came across on Facebook for a psychology program at Argosy University. The advisor seemed very encouraging but neglected to tell me I would need at minimum, a Master’s degree or a doctorate plus internship, residency, etc. to make any use of the degree as a counselor. At my age that would have been nonsense. After telling her my goals and discussing programs, I signed up for a 4 year bachelor of arts program in psychology. I did well and attended for over four years. I made the Dean’s list, remarried, moved 700 miles, divorced, worked full time and eventually graduated in the summer of 2016. Once I realized all that I would have to do to use the degree as I had intended, I changed programs, lengthening my stay at Argosy by about six months. The classes cost me roughly $1600 each! By the time I had finished my debt was well over $50K and with interest, is heading to $70K soon. I haven’t paid on it and am in a $0 repayment plan due to not being able to find employment since moving back down south after my dad’s passing so my mom isn’t alone; I am her only child. Anyway, after all that, I see no way to repay these out of control loans and at 46 years old, it scares me because I don’t want this burden on my kids. The school has since closed and no longer exists, rendering my degree basically useless and an embarrassment in my opinion. Do I have any options to make these go away? My debt to income ratio, even when I had a job in another state was over 100%. Any help or direction offered would be greatly appreciated.
I am always sorry to hear these stories and also I know that we have a real chance at winning a Student Debt Jubilee where all $1.7 Trillion is cancelled for all of us.
Did you see the thread about College For All and how to plug in there?
Also, are you familiar with Borrower Defense (aka, Defense to Repayment)?
Check out the links and let me know if you have any question or need any additional help
You are not a loan,
I appreciate you reaching out to me. I know, like others, I have felt so trapped by this debt and really just stuck my head in the sand because it’s overwhelming. I plan on looking into every resource provided and hopefully, I’m successful in getting out from under these loans so I can make a donation to the cause. This site and the resources are a true lifeline. Love the play on words in the tagline too!
Could a DTR be an option in this case? It may be worth looking into given your school is closed.
I’m going to try again. I attempted it before but was discouraged when I read that discharge only applied if the school closed while still attending or within a certain period directly after graduation. I feel like my degree is worthless. When asked what school I attended and then having to explain it is no longer in business it’s embarrassing. Not to mention the accreditation troubles Argosy had before shutting its doors. I will gladly take the degree off my resume if the debt is wiped out because I still have the knowledge and no one can take that away from me. Thank you so much for your response.
Just to clarify, there are different loan cancellation programs.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Teacher Loan Forgiveness
Closed School Discharge
Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge
Total and Permanent Disability Discharge
Discharge Due to Death
Discharge in Bankruptcy
Borrower Defense to Repayment:
“You may be eligible for discharge of your federal student loans based on borrower defense to repayment if you took out the loans to attend a school and the school did something or failed to do something related to your loan or to the educational services that the loan was intended to pay for. The specific requirements to qualify for a borrower defense to repayment discharge vary depending on when you received your loan.”
False Certification Discharge
Unpaid Refund Discharge
Based on your brief description above, I do think that the Borrower Defense to Repayment is your best course of action. You can fill out that paperwork directly with the Department of Education here: https://borrowerdischarge.ed.gov/
It sounds like you are currently in one of the income driven repayment plans and your current monthly repayment is $0. That is not a bad place to be for the time being, and probably the right short-term strategy for you while your Borrower Defense to Repayment application is pending.
Since you are currently paying $0 a month, you are on strike! Join the debt strike here: strike.debtcollective.org
You are not alone and there is power in numbers.
We need to win full student debt cancelation. Find out which congressional district you live in. Write to your representative. Call your Senators. Tell them to support the College For All legislation. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Recruit your friends, family, neighbors to join with you and pressure your electeds, or vote them out of office.
We are going to win full cancelation! But it is going to take a lot of organizing to do it.
I just put in an application for borrower’s defense. I will certainly join any effort that is working towards relieving the burden of heavy debt on students