The Department Of Education Will Discharge The Student Loans Of More Than 300,000 People With Permanent Disabilities
More than half a million people in the United States have permanent disabilities and also owe money on student loans. Approximately 365,000 are eligible to have their remaining loan balances discharged, a number of borrowers approximately equal to the population of Pittsburgh. More than half of those borrowers have already defaulted on their loans. The reason for this is nothing short of a bureaucratic nightmare; hundreds of thousands of borrowers have suffered for years, unaware of the loan forgiveness options available to them and vulnerable to loopholes that make it too easy for the Department of Education to go back on promises of loan forgiveness. Too often, the path to student loan forgiveness seems like a labyrinth with a Minotaur lurking at every turn. A Philadelphia debt collection abuse attorney can help you find your way out from under a mountain of student loan debt, even if you are unable to work.
Income-Based Repayment Plans Only Work If You Have an Income
For reasons too complex to explain in a single paragraph, hundreds of thousands of Americans have student loan balances they will not be able to repay in their lifetimes unless they win the lottery. Income-based repayment plans are an option for the many borrowers who have found employment after graduation, but at a much lower rate of pay than they had hoped when they borrowed the loans. It isn’t fun paying a fixed percentage of your income toward student loans for 25 years, but for many borrowers, it is the most straightforward path to loan forgiveness.
For borrowers with permanent disabilities, many of whom have no income besides Social Security disability payments, income-based repayment is an even less appealing option. Social Security pays you just enough to get by, so if you pay a fraction of it toward student loans, you are living on less than a bare bones budget.
Lost in a Sea of Paperwork
The Total and Permanent Disability Discharge program has been available since 1965, but you wouldn’t know it from the hundreds of thousands of borrowers who still owe money, despite being eligible to have their loans discharged. The program requires a three-year trial period where payments are suspended and during which borrowers must send verification of their income. The program puts the burden on applicants to fulfill the requirements and does not even adequately make them aware of these requirements. Only now has a solution appeared. In August 2021, the Department of Justice announced plans to discharge the loan balances of 323,000 borrowers with permanent disabilities; the total amount being discharged is more than $5 billion.
Contact an Attorney for Help Today
Taking on even more side gigs to pay down your debts is not an option for most people with disabilities. A consumer law attorney can help you access the loan forgiveness options available to you. Contact Louis S. Schwartz at CONSUMERLAWPA.com to set up a free, confidential consultation.