While many people may have been able to put student loan payments on hold during the pandemic, some of those bills are starting to come again later this year.
“The mental anguish caused by all of this has been pretty significant,” said Ann Wysock.
Last spring Mike and Ann Wysock and their three children were planning to move to Scotland for new jobs, but had to leave on two shifts. Ann Wysock had an unfinished business with a student loan officer.
“When we found out that everything they had told us from the start was not true, this emotional upheaval was horrible,” she said.
Ann and Mike Wysock enrolled in the federal government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) after earning a doctorate in physiotherapy. This involves a 10-year obligation to work in the public service, as Ann Wysock did as a therapist in public schools and her husband did in a clinic for patients with neurological trauma.
In return, the student loan debt is canceled. For the Wysocks, that was a total of $ 400,000.
But as Mike Wysock says, “Rules are everywhere, and they willfully make it hard to follow.”
“People have told the federal government by the thousands to look into this entrepreneur,” he said.
The entrepreneur, FedLoan Servicing, oversees the loans of 8.5 million student borrowers, but online comments from attendees show things may not be going so well for registrants.
Massachusetts lashed out at the service agent, accusing him of handling defaults that hurt borrowers. FedLoan did not admit any wrongdoing and settled this matter.
FedLoan said “the vast majority of allegations” in the case were “unfounded”.
After completing their 120-month contract, the Wysocks say that FedLoan fulfilling its end of the bargain has become a job in itself.
“For over 10 years we have submitted – with exceptional detail – our tax forms, our employment certification forms which they review over and over and over again,” said Mike Wysock.
According to recent data, around 5% of borrowers who applied to the PSLF program administered by FedLoan were approved.
“Accountability just doesn’t exist for these service providers, and they manage billions of dollars,” said Mike Wysock.
In July, FedLoan announced that it would not renew its contract with the federal government at the end of the year.
“Federal loan programs, as administered by the US Department of Education, have become increasingly complex and difficult,” said a spokesperson.
Those who are currently pursuing the PSLF through FedLoan will eventually be matched with a new lender. In the meantime, keep track of the payments, including the amount and eligible employment.
Complaints can be filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau if there are any issues when switching over for a federal student loan. It has a streamlined process, is very easy to use, and the status of the complaint can be tracked.