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Tell Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona how student loan debt has impacted you

The U.S. Department of Education has issued an official Request for Information (RFI) for personal stories about student loan debt and the Public Service Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Created in 2007, PSLF was designed to encourage college graduates to pursue careers in education, health care, firefighting, and other forms of public service. The program promised to wipe away federal student debt after 120 qualifying monthly payments—10 years’ worth of payments.

Instead, under the failed leadership of Betsy DeVos, the Department of Education rejected 98 percent of the PSLF applications filed since 2017, when the first public sector workers became eligible for relief. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg—for every qualified borrower whose application has been rejected, tens of thousands more have been knocked off course or never sought relief.


Tell Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona about your personal experiences with student loan debt and urge him to fulfill the promise of PSLF.

35 responses to “Tell Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona how student loan debt has impacted you

  1. I would appreciate if they can reduce student loans for the amount of interest people have already paid. I have paid so much in interest already and finally started making a noticeable dent in principal (the amount I originally borrowed) then the pandemic hit and my hours are cut in half. It’s not like I haven’t been paying and wanting free financial relief, it would be great if the loan could be reduced even a little bit by directing the interest I have already paid to go to the principal in light of the financial difficulties during COVID pandemic.

  2. LOANS SHOULD BE REPAID! The harder you struggle, the more you appreciate. Education should be reasonably priced, but NEVER FREE.

    1. I agree that loans should be repaid, then they should be done. Not the way it has worked, all students that went to college and the American taxpayers were cheated. Read The Debt Trap.

  3. In this time of our lives I think all student loan should be forgiven. It would give the economy financial balance because people would use the money that would go towards student loan payments towards consumer goods, creating more demand, creating more jobs.

  4. As a public high school teacher, student loans are constantly a crippling worry. We work nonstop hours, dedicating our lives to the future’s children, for very little pay. Although I certify my hours every year for the PSLF program, the stories I hear about most people being turned away is cause for fear and concern as I hurtle towards their hopefully not-inevitable rejection. Student loans are preventing my fiancé and I from being able to buy a house, and they’re also a main reason we are considering not having children.

    Please consider cancelling student loans. I know this will have a tremendous impact on millions of lives throughout the country. In addition, the positive impact will help stimulate economies, housing markets, and will result in greater mental health for many as well.

  5. Hi, my name is Maria, and I am a preschool teacher for the Head Start program, which is a federaly funded in the state of California., I work with low income, at risk families and their children. In 2009 I had to take out a student loan to pay for my Bachelors degree in Child development. The original loan amount was for $13, 000. Now the loan amount is $17,000 that includes accrued interest. I have had to deffered payment a few times because I could NOT afford to pay monthy. I have been working with families and their children for the last 21 years. PLEASE HELP US>

    1. You have a good job. Why haven’t you been responsibly been paying down this debt? I also had a student loan, became a teacher, but I have back my loan because I am accountable for my debts. There is no reason for you not doing the same unless you are living being your means and are not financially responsible.

    2. I just learned that I have paid 89000.00 in principal and 23000.00 in interest and guess what? My balance left to pay back is now 20000.00 MORE than original loan! The fedloan representative that because of interest! I will have my mortgage paid off before my student loan! Sad and wrong!

  6. I, too, paid off my school loan as a responsible adult. In the real world, individuals are expected to be responsible and paid off their debts. Our other children have or are paying on their school loans.

    I do not think my husband or I , my children, grandchildren should be taxed or be responsible for the choice of others who do not stand up to their responsibilities and pay off their loans.

    There are already too many ‘free’ things for those who choose not to work or further their education. It has been said some families are on welfare for a generation or more. Their welfare is OUR tax money. Stop spend our monies on lazy individuals or on frivolous things or organizations who squandered our hard earned money.

  7. I know plenty of people who paid their way through college with things like scholarships and grants. It takes a lot to apply for them but it’s definitely doable.

    Beyond this, all students have the option to get their entire college paid for by the government already. The military is a great option for people that can’t afford to pay for college. People don’t even have to go active duty; the national guard is a great option. We want government to pay loans; they already are.

  8. I paid off my debt like a RESPONSIBLE ADULT.

    DO NOT tax me so you can throw money at dirtbags who want to avoid their obligations. They made poor choices, and you folks want to prevent them from learning from their mistakes.

    Too much like SNAP, housing “assistance”, heating “assistance”, “free” cellphones, and all the other ways we make it too easy to be a parasite instead of a contributing member of Society.

    1. This “dirt bag” as you call me has been paying off her student loans for the past 8 years, but the debt has not gone down due to the excessive interest charged.

    2. This statement is not me. I am a responsible adult who pays my bills. That maybe you, but not me. Don’t categorize me with that statement. You don’t know my story. Oh by the way, when Christ returns, all debts will be wiped out. Praise God

    3. Are you aware that student loan companies were stealing money from people by posting extra payments to future interest instead of the principal? The “dirtbags” and “parasites” are NOT the hard-working people doing their best to pay off loans that have been rigged.

  9. Help us! We are drowned in debt. This is not teaching us anything. Our education should be giving back to the community by building a stronger, supportive society instead student loan survivors are conflicted. We need to take care of ourselves first before we can help others. Unfortunately, we are struggling which in turn leaves gaps within our ability to fully engage. This dynamic is destructive.

  10. I have been in public service for thirteen years and barely earned enough money to survive, and not enough to even keep up with the interest on my student loan debt. The principal keeps growing larger and larger, as my government fails to make good on its promise.

  11. This enormous student debt has crippled a vast number of young people so much so that they cannot function normally in our society with this debt constantly hanging over their heads. In some cases, it is so huge that they will never pay it off,

  12. I started out with 30,000 in college loan debt. Over 30 years of teaching I have repaid 30,000 toward my loan. Due to fees for being unable to make my large payments and outrageous consolidation fees as well as still being charged $460 in monthly interest during the Pandemic (due to default). I now owe 68,000.

  13. Hello,
    I graduated with my masters degree in 1998, and have been a public school educator ever since. I was saddled with a 7.5% interest rate and I still owe over $50,000 in student loans.

    My daughter is entering her freshman year in college and paying her tuition makes it nearly impossible to pay off my loans.

    I am part of the PSLF program but they haven’t accepted many of my payback years because the loans were of the wrong type.

    I need some relief from my loans after over 20 years. I have paid all along and never defaulted. But at this point I am 52 years old and will still be paying on my loans into retirement.

  14. It is criminal that current students and past students are still haunted by student debt. Some of us are retired and still paying student loans. There’s nothing right about that. This is what’s happening in the greatest country in the world. Had I been born in France like my husband and attended college there, there would have been no charge.
    Please fix this. I’m retired and still paying and cannot imagine what students are going through now trying to concentrate on school work.

  15. Student loan debt is the reason millions never seek higher education. The ideal of seeking a higher degree to earn more money and prosper is not the reality. Instead people spend their hard earned money trying to pay off the student loans that cannot be forgiven.
    I graduated in 1999 and am still paying on my undergraduate and graduate loans. The most infuriating reason is being duped by companies that I had to pay into in order to consolidate. Now I have a high school graduate who has decided not to go to university; not because he doesn’t want to, but because of fear of being saddled with debt and the financial stress that comes with it. I have a junior who will be graduating high school in 2 years and I honestly don’t know what choice he will make because I am still paying on my own student loan debt and therefore am not in a position to provide him with any financial assistance.
    This cycle needs to end for future generations. We need to make education a basic human right in the United States and allow students the freedom of choice in their futures.

  16. Let’s start calling student loans what they really are – a scam. They’re not designed to be paid off. They’re designed to be a thorn in the side to all students who need them. The cost of a 4 year education does not parallel the salaries of the jobs we’ve been educated to perform.

  17. I am a 66 year old special education teacher, medically fragile secondary. Two instances of failed loan forgiveness have impacted me, and I am unable to retire debt free. I applied for PSLF and was rejected due to the fact my school is not Title I, even though my students are bussed from the entire 30,000 student district (mine is the only class of its kind for our most fragile students). I had been led to believe teaching special ed, math or science qualified for PSLF, and I have continued my education in order to best serve my students.

    The other loans are parent plus loans for my son, who attended a Corinthian College that was shut down for fraud. I applied, and after loan consolidation and a three-year wait, only $750 of the initial $30,000 was forgiven (10% of the balance left on the loans). He is still unable to find work in the field he had chosen, as he was unable to finish. He is currently unemployed due to the pandemic, and has not received the federal support either. Both of these rejections are wrong; I still have over $20,000 of student loan debt. I am unable to retire.

  18. I am 51, teach in a rural Armstrong Co public school and owe $128,418.67 after deferring, getting more education and asking for PSLF. This impacts my credit and is a burden as I also have 3 children 19-25 who I would like to be able to help get their lives started. It is overwhelming as a single parent on a teacher’s salary.

    1. Kelly, my previous comment was meant for all the replies that were judgmental and unkind.

      I am with you about the impact student loan debt has on my credit worthiness.

  19. I worked at a couple of Title-One sites that helped with the Apple Grant, but it was only 3-4k annually for only a few years. Luckily, I was in a position to not borrow exuberant amounts to get through Cal State East Bay. After the grant ran out, it was a struggle to pay off my loans. But I did. The other issue is by law, a student an only refinance student loans one time? People can refinance their homes multiple times to get the best rates. What is up with the student loans; its verging on a Pay Day Loan scam snd needs to be fixed!

  20. I worked at a couple ofTitle-One sites that helped with the Apple Grant, but it was only 3-4k annually fir only a few years. Luckily, I was in a position to not borrow exuberant amounts to get through Cal State East Bay. After the grant ran out, it eas a struggle to pay off my loans. The other issue is by law, a student an only refinance student loans one time? People can refinance their homes multiple times to get the best rates. What is up with the student loans; its verging on a Pay Day Loan scam snd needs to be fixed!

  21. Students need relief. They are saddled with debt while trying very hard to get the education they need to fulfill their dreams. They also need books, etc. Then there is rent, utilities, clothing, food, transportation and other things they need. They need help, and you can make it possible. Please consider this legislation seriously.

    1. Student loans have impacted me because it seems liie I can never get ahead because Im paying student loans. It will take forever to finish paying them off

    2. I have been a special education teacher for the past 23 years. I am only able to afford the income-driven repayment plan after using the loan forgiveness plan as a single-income household. This program does not decrease my balance but only pays towards the interest. It is ridiculous that after 23 years as a teacher I am still unable to get out from under this debt. Until recent years, I worked multiple jobs. Now, it’s all I can do to go to my teaching job each day. I’m exhausted, overwhelmed, and wanting to retire but I don’t see how that will be financially possible in the near future. Please help us.

    3. Please cancel Student Loans. It’s as simple as choosing to pay Rent or Student Loans and I have to choose to pay Rent so I will not become homeless. Students Loans are a Debt Death Trap. In others words you will be in debt until the day you die.

      I’m amazed how I can substitute teach for 10+ years in poverty stricken areas and teach part time at a Junior College for 10+ years and can’t get Loan Forgiveness. This is horrible! Grant people relief do we can enjoy life without the burden and harassment from Lenders regarding Student Loans. You are in Office to fulfill your promises. Please Help and Assist!

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