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AVM Survivors Network

Student Loans

I probably posted this years ago on this site but I recently found it and thought it was worth repeating. It seems student loans are still a concern for many...lol.

Anyway, I sincerely hope it helps someone...

While I realize that everyone is on their own journey with their respective AVM and health issues are the biggest concern (with good reason) student loans are probably the furthest thing from one's mind. However, I'd like to pass on some information not readily made available that may either reduce monthly payments or discharge the loan altogether.

Rather than sharing this information one person at a time, Cindy Phillips (RIP now) suggested that I post the information to hopefully benefit someone else. Great idea Cindy...

First, as you may know there are Federal or government loans and Private loans. In the Federal loans category there are Federal Family Educational Program loans (FFELP) and National Direct Student Loans or Direct loans for short. Obama eliminated FFELP loans in favor of Direct Loans last year I believe to prevent the lender from making any money any providing the borrower more "Direct" access. It was all very political and most of us really don't care about that. Just know there are Federal loans (FFELP and Direct) and Private loans. I believe the interest rate for Federal loans is rather low and fixed whereas the interest rate for Private Loans can be a little higher.

What I suggest is this...contact your student loan provider whether it's Sallie Mae or some other entity and tell them your current situation. You may qualify for a Total and Permanent Disability discharge based on your AVM. Here's the kicker... Just because you may have been deemed disabled by the Social Security Administration you will still have to prove your disability by your doctor. This can be done by submitting a form (Total and Permanent Disability form) to your student loan provider right away. What I've recommended (more on me later) is this... Schedule an appointment with your doctor to make sure he fills out the form accurately and completely the first time before you send it on to your student loan provider. This will probably save you a lot of time and heartache and is well worth the effort. You can download and print a copy of this form from: http://www.tgslc.org/forms/disability.cfm.

Even if you try everything and don't qualify for the disability discharge there are other repayment options that may SIGNIFICANTLY lower your monthly payments. You can find out more about those options at: http://www.tgslc.org/borrowers/repay/plans.cfm. While a deferment or forbearance may sound like a good option the best course of action is to look at repayment plans first. Some even take into account your income and may bring your monthly payment as low as $0.00 a month. I know the Income-Based Repayment plan offers this. There's even a calculator on the website as well to see if you qualify: http://www.aie.org/managing-your-money/finance-tools/IBR-calculator.cfm.

Basically the Texas Guaranteed (TG) website is chock full of information at www.tgslc.org and go to the borrower tab. You can get info on the different types of student loans out there as well as repayment options to figure out what is best for you.

Another great website is the national student lending data system or www.nslds.ed.gov. This helps if you have several loans out there and are confused by all of that. It puts everything in one place for you. It doesn't list your private loans though if you have any.

Me? Well, I worked for TG (a student loan guarantor) since 1997 and just recently as a default aversion counselor after my surgery. While the student lending industry has been turned on its head, TG is still there and that says a lot. Yes I used to work for them, but while most players in the student loan industry just want to make a buck, I found TG to be caring and compassionate to the borrower and that is very rare. (I’ve also had borrowers tell me this as well). Also, realize that although TG is obviously a Texas-based company, these are Federal loans and what you read about the loans on this site applies nationwide. Best of luck everyone and let me know if I can help in any way.

Suzy

Good luck everyone and hang in there!

This info can provide help when appropriate, just make sure you get educated on the process (thanks to Suzy for getting people started).

It can be confusing, so please don’t hesitate to ask for help from loved ones. We’re not financial counsellors at AVM Survivors, but this is one of many issues AVMers potentially face.