Financial Advice

I’m a Victim of My Church School and College and Want to Go Back to School

Question:

Dear Steve,

I have tried for YEARS to send off applications for discharge of my loans. I have used several addresses.. and I thought this last one was the actual address to send my loan discharge application to finally, but I just received it back in the mail! 🙁 I’m so mad! 20+ years ago, I went to a college that I later found out, accepted me, but I did not have a real, legit HS diploma.

My “high school” was a small church school, where I was the first and only senior to graduate. They gave me papers to give to my college, and whallah, I was in… but my “church school” immediately shut down right after I left. I was not able to contact anyone. SOOOOOO I looked up everything I could about my diploma and high school and found nothing. I was even able to confirm with the records department at the college that I only had a form of “transcripts” but no diploma in my records.

Also, back then, when I went to graduate college back in 1998, a professor stole a piece of artwork from me. The dean told me not to return to graduate until my artwork was returned to the teacher that stole it. I never returned to graduate. I was young and naive and scared of what everyone said but bullheaded enough to not let someone steal from me and I was alone. I did not have parents guiding me through anything.

I got married, then had two autistic children. I’ve not been able to get a job this whole time.. not been able to pay on ANYTHING school loan wise, and just living on my kids SSI and food stamps! It has NOT been fun! We’ve been homeless several times, carless, waterless, electricity less.

I’m SICK of this life no tax returns ever, wage garnishments if you try to get a job then they take food stamps away and SSI when they look at “PREGARNISHED” wages!

I’ve been trying for years to get my loans discharged! I’ve looked up and down the “ED” site and can not find help on where to send the form. I’ve had to google and google for addresses! I’m so frustrated!!!!! Please help me!!!

I’m wanting to return to school at 41 years old with my 17 year old autistic son at a cheap technical school to become a radiologist, so I can make decent enough money to finally survive in about 2 years. I got my GED in december (HiSet) through a MO adult education program and the school made me apply for FAFSA even though I do not wish to get any more loans EVER!!!!!!!

I thought I was finally seeing a light of hope, but then it looks like I can not get help with pell grants either unless these past loans are taken care of.

OH help me please! I’m so tired of looking for help on these loans!

20+ years of poverty, and raising two disabled children… *cry* I’ve been tortured enough! Please help me to find a way at preventing them from taking away my second and only chance at a career! PLEASE!!!

Holly

Answer:

Dear Holly,

I think the argument over forgiveness is not going to get you anywhere. To be eligible for college financing you don’t heed a high school degree, or even a GED. All the college who is accepting you need to do is show you have an ability to benefit from the education by passing an approved ability-to-benefit test or you can complete six credit hours towards a degree. The ability to benefit requirement only went into effect in 2012 so it sounds like it wouldn’t apply to you.

There was never a reason to remain in a garnishment state or risk benefits being garnished. The route out is very simple. All you need to do is rehabilitate your student loans, click here and read this. Once your loans are rehabilitated then you would be eligible again for new loans and PELL grants for your education. Once rehabilitated you can use on of the income driven repayment plans to get a monthly loan payment as low as $0 per month and remain current on your loans.

You only get the rehabilitation option once so use it wisely.

And by the way, if your tax refunds are being intercepted, the best way to avoid that is to adjust your withholdings so you don’t get a refund.

Steve Rhode
Get Out of Debt GuyTwitter, G+, Facebook

If you have a credit or debt question you’d like to ask, just click here and ask away.

This article by Steve Rhode first appeared on Get Out of Debt Guy and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

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