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Texas Guaranteed is Preventing Me for Getting Getting My Student Loans Forgiven as a Teacher

By on July 31, 2017

Question:

Dear Steve,

I have been a teacher since 1995. I have always worked for a title 1 school. I paid on my student loans for over 11 years (67k) after having the loans consolidated after the loss of my Dad where I had a to have a forbearance.

So, I continued to pay under bankruptcy for 5 years due having to pay property taxes after my Dad died..no other debts. I contacted TE (Texas Guaranteed) when I knew I was likely going to lose my job and the representative was condescending and rude saying hurtful things to me during the most stressful time of my life.

When I did become unemployed a couple of months later…I called again and emailed them with my situation stating that I should have loan forgiveness at this point being that I was a teacher and there was no way I should be paying over another 65k for my education, and my payments would no longer be made automatically from my salary each month (it was well over 800 a mo.)

I never received any response or feedback from them. I sent a complaint and my story to them via email and I never heard back for over half a year. Then they sent a note saying they had made numerous attempts to contact me, which was untrue. It was only since this last February that they began calling me daily someone random at least twice daily just requesting that I return the call.

Now they sent a letter describing that if I don’t pay in full or make a payment arrangement they are calling my new place of employment and will have them garnish my wages! ( It’s increased to 88k now according to them.) The other option says to fill out all of this red tape send it by the 5th of August and I can have a hearing by phone or in person. Otherwise they will take from my pay.

In this form that was sent via bulk mail…it didn’t even have the correct place of employment listed!

Now someone calls 3x a day from TG first thing in the morning and evening. They also had my tax return taken this year after being unemployed and it was a significant amount almost 4k.

As far as I know, these are all federal loans. I have found government forms to fill out for loan forgiveness/cancellation but honestly don’t know what to do. The loans are from 1989-1995 and 1998-2000.

This has been a nightmare since 2004 when my Dad died. I am a widow as well and my daughter is grown. I had to use my retirement to live on while unemployed and that’s gone now.

I have awful credit and have yet never had any credit. My bankruptcy ended last June. I would so appreciate your help and advice. I have called a couple of student loan attorneys but they can’t help unless I have been served with a lawsuit.

READ  Here is How to Get Your Student Loans Forgiven if You Are a Teacher

Thank you for being there…I know you know the situation I am going through..as it has had an effect on everything…I don’t need the humiliation of them contacting my new job/school. Thanks.

How can I have these loans pardoned/forgiven and not have these people contact my job by their deadline of the 5th?

Loriann

Answer:

Dear Loriann,

It sure sounds as if you’ve faced a tough and stressful battle over these loans. It appears to me the forgiveness you are trying to obtain would be under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program since that would forgive your entire loan balance.

For your loan payments to apply towards the PSLF program they have to be under one of these repayment options.

  • Revised Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (REPAYE Plan)
  • Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (PAYE Plan)
  • Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR Plan)
  • Income-Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR Plan)
  • 10-year Standard Repayment Plan
  • Any other Direct Loan Program repayment plan; but only payments that are at least equal to the monthly payment amount that would have been required under the 10-year Standard Repayment Plan may be counted toward the required 120 payments.

The last two options aren’t really options because you have to make at least 120 on-time compliant payments to be eligible for forgiveness. Loans in deferment or forbearance do not count towards the 120 payments. And full payments will have the loan paid off in 120 months.

Also, this program only began on October 1, 2007 so only payments that comply with the program and made after that date would even be counted towards forgiveness.

Of course the PSLF program only includes federal student loans and not private student loans. To verify what loans you do have, you can login to the National Student Loan Data System and your loans listed there will be federal student loans. When you login to check on your loans you’ll be able to see if any of your loans are in a conforming loan repayment program to count.

If not, you will have to consolidate your federal loans into a new Direct Loan and elect one of the income driven repayment programs to repay your loans. Based on your income you loan payment may be as low as $0 per month and still count towards total forgiveness.

A new Direct Loan will not cost you any money. It’s free to do that. Just keep in mind that income driven repayment programs can be a trap if you are not careful.

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So many student loan debtors were never properly informed about how to organize their loans for forgiveness under the PSLF program so sadly those payments will not count towards forgiveness.

If they are threatening to garnish your wages you need to take immediate action to get your loans current again. One option is the Loan Rehabilitation program for your federal student loans.

Do not let your loans get garnished or they will tack on large collection fees that will inflate your balances.

It sounds to me as if this has all been overwhelming and people from the loan servicer may not have been giving you great advice. But then again the largest loan servicer Navient says that’s not their job.

On the off chance you are not going for the PSLF program but instead were thinking of the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program, it only forgives up to a combined total of $17,500. So clearly the PSLF with total loan forgiveness is the better plan to go for.

If you feel Texas Guaranteed has misled you they do have an Office of the Ombudsman which you should contact to raise your concerns.

The Texas Guaranteed website does provide the following advice, “Two federal loan forgiveness programs are available to individuals who enter public service careers. Under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program (TLFP), Federal Stafford and Federal Direct loan borrowers who teach for five consecutive, complete years at an eligible school may qualify to have some of their loan balances forgiven. Through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLFP), borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on their eligible Federal Direct loans after they have made 120 monthly payments on those loans under an eligible repayment plan while employed full time in eligible public service occupations.” – Source

Texas Guaranteed does provide information on the loan rehabilitation option to avoid wage garnishment. You should click here.

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2 Comments

  1. Loriann

    July 31, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Teacher student loan forgiveness question asked.

    • Steve Rhode

      July 31, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      Question answered with loads of links for you to take action.

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