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Westwood College Only Cared About Putting Me in Debt. What Do I Do Now?

By on April 17, 2018

Question:

Dear Steve,

I attend Westwood college online a handful of years ago. It seemed at the time they were being extremely helpful about getting me enrolled, it appears now, all they really cared was getting me as deeply in debt to them as possible.

I currently have 17 student loans which were originally with Sallie Mae and Navient currently has. There were also personal loans that the school had me take out through them, that I was unaware were personal loans.

I have seen some articles saying Westwood has gone under and their student’s debt was forgiven, or something like that.

I need to know what I need to do about moving forward in this situation if I can in fact get my outlandish debt erased. I also did not get to graduate because I was told I had reached my “aggregate loan limit” and was forced to resign from the school in what was supposed to be my final year.

Kevin

Answer:

Dear Kevin,

Westwood College has been the subject of many posts here over the years. Since 2010 the college has been a problem for students. In 2010 a group of Westwood College students sued the school for fraud.

I have no idea what year you attended.

It should not be a surprise to any reader that schools are trying to sell as much of their product to bring in as much money as they can. Their product is enrollment in classes, not making sure students graduate.

The salespeople at Westwood College you dealt with seem to have figured that out and worked hard to max you out.

It appears you may have three categories of loans.

Loans to Westwood College

The loans to the school can be discharged in a consumer bankruptcy. You can find a good local bankruptcy attorney and have a free discussion about what bankruptcy would mean for you. Bankruptcy is the fastest way to get a fresh start for the least amount of money.

READ  Students Fight Back Against For-Profit Colleges: Westwood College Sued For Fraud

Westwood College Federal Student Loans

On the federal student loans, if any, you may be eligible for a closed school discharge of that debt.

You can read about the criteria for eliminating your federal loans here.

Westwood College says they did create teach-out relationships for those who wanted to finish their education.

Westwood College

Westwood College Private Student Loans

On the private student loan front, there is no easy answer or a program like for federal student loans. Your options are:

  1. Pay the private student loans.
  2. Default on your private student loans and attempt to negotiate another solution. See Top 10 Reasons You Should Stop Paying Your Unaffordable Private Student Loan
  3. There are a number of technical issues that can make some or all of your private student loans eligible for elimination in bankruptcy. You can see a list of articles on this here. At this time there are two articles you should read, this and this.

Easy Fix

If you are looking for an easy fix for this mess, there is not one. You are going to have to push to deal with your loans and fight for a solution.

The reality is there are a few good people out there who can guide someone through this mess but the vast majority of people in this kind of debt simply can’t afford to get professional help and competent assistance for the overall financial issue.

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

5 Comments

  1. jen

    December 15, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    I went to Westwood college as a solution for me to get my marketing degree, since people at my old college was enrolling in there and then leave within three weeks just to get the 1500 refund. It was so bad that the president of the college have all the student who was there 4 + to leave and go to another school. Even though it shows on my record that I never drop out of the school, I was still ax out. While going to Westwood college, I was given an option to take a loan out. I cried, but I talk to my mom at the time, who stated she will help me out. No biggie there that she left me behind and didn’t help out at all. I only went for 9 weeks before I decided to drop out completely. The reason was because

    1, it was hard for me to get to that school.

    2. it was the professor who stated that anyone could easily earn 4.0 in the school and be recognized.

    3. When the professor told me this, I decided to look into the school further, and I found out that even though I earn credit in that school, it will not be transfer to another school, much less not be recognized in other pro- or non profit school.

    4. I look into my cost for weekly, and found out for each week, I pretty much be going into 1500 debt just attending the school. What worst was that, every ten weeks, the school will have everyone take out another loan. When I ask the person who was doing my paper work why I have to take out another loan, they didn’t have answer to me. So for every 10 weeks, they will try to make to student take about 12k or 10 k. Since I was in marketing, they wanted me to take out a loan of 165k. Right then and there I knew I have to leave.

    5. That was when other people who graduate have filed lawsuit in the school. When I went over my paper work, I knew I freaking messed up big time. The school have made all their existing student and new student sign a contract stating that we can not sue them for any false or true claims and we, the student, decided to continue to stay in the program or not. This contract was mix in another form of paper work where student have to sign up for the programs and put their name on the paper work.

    6. Before week 10 approaches, I decided to drop out. When I did, at first, they wanted me to pay off 12k. And then when the graduates have did the law suite, it went from 12k to 10k. When more people started to put in the lawsuits, my student loan bill went from 10k all the way down to 3.5k. I lucked out big time.

    Since last month I finally was able to pay off my student loan bill. And guess what? The story just keeps on getting better. It turn out that the government, who over see the education and such, has issue another lawsuit to these institution. It turn out that if the institution went under, or forced to close their doors because of false claims, the student should have been given the option for forgiveness plan, have 3/4 of the loan forgiven or have all of it forgiven and we wasn’t supposed to pay at all. It depend on what loan you have taken out too. Well anyway, The government of education decided to pay back the 150 millions dollars to those who pay off or still continue to pay the student loan off because of these institution.

    Even though I finally paid mines off with navient, I’m going to see if I can put in claim for it. For those who want a solution, keep on making payments to your loan, always ask navient if there are other solution to help pay the loan off fast.

  2. Bridget Miller

    September 25, 2018 at 3:33 am

    Westwood College told me the week before graduation that I would not be able to graduate until I paid them an additional $5000. They also told me they would not release my transcripts. My loans were also with Sallie Mae. Graduation should have been March 2001 and for an Associates degree that I never received I now owe 130k. I’m in default and unemployed.

  3. Kevin

    April 17, 2018 at 9:52 am

    I want to get rid of my Westwood College student loans.

    • Wisdom

      October 28, 2018 at 10:23 pm

      KEvin you’re not the only one.

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