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A Student Loan Fix for a Teacher, and Many Other Public Servants

Source Date: 
Friday, March 30, 2018

In October, I wrote a column about Jed Shafer, a teacher in Oregon who found himself on the wrong end of the student loan repayment bureaucracy.

Mr. Shafer thought he was following the rules to qualify for the public service loan forgiveness program, and spent years communicating carefully with the loan servicers who collected his payments on behalf of the federal government. But it turns out he hadn’t been doing it correctly after all.

The result? He learned he was going to have to pay tens of thousands of dollars extra. After many months of pleading his case to his loan servicer and the Department of Education, he’d pretty much given up.

“They have the power, regardless of my service and full payments, to make me look inept,” he told me then. “They will surely win based on their documentation.”

"Bankruptcy laws allow companies to smoothly reorganize, but not college graduates burdened by student loans."
– Robert Reich
"If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going."
– Irwin "Professor" Corey
The road to success is always under construction
– Lily Tomlin
“This would be a much better world if more married couples were as deeply in love as they are in debt.”
– Earl Wilson
"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood."
– Marie Curie
“What I would like to do... once I take care of all my kids' student loans, is buy a red 1965 Mustang and fully restore it.”
– Mike Quigley
"There is scarcely anything that drags a person down like debt."
– P. T. Barnum