FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
In Wake of New Data Showing Student Loan Borrowers Struggle to Navigate Forgiveness Program, The Institute of Student Loan Advisors Announces Launch of Free Student Loan Forgiveness Resource
Plymouth, MA (October 2, 2018) – The Institute of Student Loan Advisors (TISLA), the nonprofit dedicated to giving consumers fair, free student loan advice and dispute resolution, is excited to announce the launch of its new comprehensive resource for student loan forgiveness programs, The (Almost) Complete Guide to Student Loan Forgiveness Programs.
“Recent data published by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) revealed that 99% percent of student loan borrowers who applied for Public Service Loan Forgiveness were denied, in part because they were unable to navigate the program’s red tape,” said Betsy Mayotte, TISLA president. “It’s never been more important for student loan consumers to have a neutral, free of charge resource to turn to for information and advice. TISLA arms borrowers with the information they need to be their own best advocate.” A GAO report issued last month reiterated the need for improved communications on these programs for both servicers and borrowers. The ED agreed with these recommendations.
In addition to the familiar PSLF and Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) programs, the resource lists 115 other programs that forgive all or part of a borrower’s student loans based on various criteria. Most of these programs are state-based and require certain service criteria such as working in a high-need area for a period of time. While PSLF and TLF programs only cover federal student loans, many of these state-based programs include private loans and other non-federal student debts. This can provide a real impact to borrowers with non-federal student loans as these debts often have few if any lower payment options or other types of relief available to those that might be struggling.
While a borrower may have to relocate to take advantage of some of these programs, the rewards can certainly make such a move worthwhile. For example, one national veterinary program repays up to $25,000 per year, while a program for health care workers in Alaska will repay up to $47,000 per year for certain hard-to-fill positions. The state of Kansas will repay borrowers up to $15,000 simply for moving to one of 77 rural areas in the state.
The (Almost) Complete Guide to Student Loan Forgiveness also provides a plain English, step-by-step explanation of how to pursue all the federal forgiveness and discharge programs to help ensure borrowers understand all the rules for these programs.
TISLA was founded to help consumers struggling under the heavy burden of college debt, offering clear information and advice for borrowers via www.freestudentloanadvice.org. TISLA provides guidance on loan repayment options, consolidation, dispute resolution, default rehabilitation and more. Borrowers may also email email@example.com for personalized assistance with their student loan situations. The service is entirely free for consumers.
“At TISLA, we understand that student loan borrowers are overwhelmed by their debt and repayment options, and sometimes just need a second opinion or additional help from an unbiased, expert source who has their best interests in mind. Our goal is not to manage borrowers’ loans for them, but to instead help them themselves” said Mayotte.
The organization is funded through grants and donations, as well as student loan educational tools and service packages for employers, schools and associations who understand the importance and impact of providing such resources to their constituencies. Visit https://freestudentloanadvice.org/about_us/partnerships for more information on funding opportunities.
About The Institute of Student Loan Advisors
The Institute of Student Loan Advisors (TISLA) is a private nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that all consumers have access to fair, free, student loan advice and dispute resolution. We will never charge consumers for our services and do not require registration or affiliation to utilize our services. While we encourage all student loan borrowers to talk to their loan holders for help, we understand that sometimes, you just want a second opinion or need additional help.
About Betsy Mayotte
Betsy Mayotte is the President and founder of The Institute of Student Loan Advisors (TISLA). A longtime student loan professional with more than 20 years’ experience in compliance and advocacy, she has helped thousands of borrowers with their student loans one-on-one. She has served as a primary negotiator for several federal rulemaking sessions on topics such as loan rehabilitation and borrower defense to repayment discharge. In addition, Mayotte frequently conducts regulatory trainings for the higher education financing industry both in the United States and as far away as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. She is regularly quoted in the media on student loan issues and was a frequent contributor to U.S. News and World Report’s The Student Loan Ranger blog . Betsy was born and raised in Lowell, MA and currently lives in Plymouth, MA.
The ED issued some data on approved and denied PSLF applications last week. This article does a good job explaining the implications of that data. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/09/27/unsettled-debate-over-impact-public-service-loan-forgiveness