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I Went to Jail, Worked for UNICOR and Want to Get My Student Loans Forgiven

Question:

Dear Steve,

In 1992 I had a small student loan for a career college in Indianapolis. A year later, I was sent to Federal prison and incarcerated for 26yrs and 3mos.

Can I qualify for forgiveness? I definitely worked for UNICOR INDUSTRIES.

Ivan

Answer:

Dear Ivan,

I’m assuming you had a federal student loan. You may have read my posts here and here.

Since UNICOR is a government-owned corporation and you worked for them in prison, technically, you should be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness as a government employee if you made payments on the loans or were on a $0 monthly payment in an Income-Driven Repayment program.

These are quirky times, and you can currently get credit for unpaid payments during the Covid payment suspension. So, at the very least, you could get credit towards forgiveness.

Time is not on your side to get applications in. The deadline is October 31, 2022. For details on the PSLF waiver program, click here. The window to apply for this special waiver is closing quickly.

I’d be very interested in any Department of Education response to your application. Post updates in the comments.

Technically your federal loans should have fallen into the Incarceration Write Off bucket but there is a lot of murky area between what the rules say and what is the actual procedure.

So if your federal student loan was put into some sort of hold or forbearance, under the PSLF waiver program I mentioned, forbearance periods of 36 cumulative months or greater will count under the waiver. In fall 2022, ED will begin making account adjustments to include these periods. Forbearance periods provided by the COVID-19 emergency relief flexibilities are not included in these months.

See this page for more details on the waiver program.

Sincerely,


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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.
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