Student loan nightmare: 'I have to start all over'

Source Date: 
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Amanda Lawson-Ross planned her career around a government loan forgiveness program. But after making payments for four years, it turns out she doesn't qualify.

Lawson-Ross was in graduate school at the University of Akron when she first heard about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Launched in 2007 under the George W. Bush administration, it promises loan forgiveness to people who work at non-profits or for the government once they've made 10 years' worth of payments.

It sounded like a good option for Lawson-Ross, who was pursuing her Ph.D. in counseling psychology and would be saddled with more than $100,000 in debt when she finished in 2013. She's been planning her life around the repayment program ever since, choosing internships that set her up for a career in the public sector. She's now a counselor and professor at the University of Florida.

"There is scarcely anything that drags a person down like debt."
– P. T. Barnum