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STOP PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN PREDATORY PRACTICES!

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Please sign this petition to effect legislative change and regulate private student loans by stopping the predatory practices by universities and private lenders. 

Joel's Story:

Student loans are necessary to get through college, this is a fact we all accept. Most of us don’t have the money to pay for college outright, so we seek help from lenders. However, unlike loans for houses and cars, these PRIVATE STUDENT loans are highly unregulated. This means students mostly don’t know what they’re getting into, nor the kind or extent of loans they have. It is even worse for students like myself on the Autism spectrum. I was put into a massive debt of over $200,000… with no degree to show for it. I have had multiple life events that hinder my ability to pay. My job earns enough to pay the bills while living with my parents and little else.  I am being told that I cannot get my payments lowered to an amount that is manageable.
This needs to change. Because private student loans aren’t regulated, nor are they covered by bankruptcy. We need change to show them that they cannot continue this practice and make it possible for some people who have had an exceptional amount of debt to be able to live without the fear of harassment and knowing that they will be able to pay it off at a rate they can afford. We need legislation to help those who have had damaging life experiences to have this covered by bankruptcy as a possibility. Please join me in telling our legislature that change needs to happen now.

Mom's story:
My name is Randi Solomon and I am writing on behalf of my son Joel. What I’m about to explain is one of the saddest and more horrific things you will ever hear about.
My son Joel is extremely talented. He also has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (on the Autism Spectrum, Depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Asthma). Joel attended Middle School of the Arts and Dreyfoos School of the Arts. He applied for and was accepted to University of Miami. Initially he had a partial scholarship to UM. But Joel’s grades were slipping. While Joel was experiencing his difficulties at school, we were dealing with multiple life and death medical crisis. Every bad thing that could happen did happen to our family. I dropped the ball. This is not an excuse, but simply an explanation of how hectic life had become. The school continued to have him sign loans so they could continue to fund  the school tuition. Joel attended University of Miami for 5 years and never earned a degree. We made him come home, but didn’t realize how out of control his student loans are. We thought the loans were tied to a percentage of future income or there wasn’t full disclosure about which were FEDERAL or PRIVATE LOANS and didn’t realize that the private loan lenders ruthless. 2 years ago, they were calling my son's employer 2-5 times a day, as well as calling my house every half hour. In the past we have been told by Sallie Mae that they don’t care if we didn’t have food or medical insurance, we need to pay the loan. 
Joel at one point started to live on his own, but recently had to move back home due to financial issues. He now attends school and has earned his AA and now is successfully working towards his Bachelors at Palm Beach State College. His overall Grade Point Average increased from a 1.9 to a 2.5.  His grade point average just at Palm Beach State is now 3.08. We were able to defer the private loans until now. Last week we received a telephone call from Navient. Navient explained that we can no longer defer the private student loans and he has to start paying back on $177,000 in loans. The monthly payment would be somewhere around $1200 per month. We’re having a hard time just paying the mortgage. My son earns $12.00 an hour at a full time job. Now my son is paying for the rest of his life for this one mistake. Every time I even think about this I cry. I feel like we ruined his life. We are willing to pay a manageable amount, but Navient (the new lender) will not accept that low of a payment.  Joel is finally getting back on his feet, and I am very proud of him. Now this happened. 
On 11/12/15, my husband and I met with a group of community leaders including Congressman Ted Deutch and Congresswoman Lois Frankel.  http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/business/no-degree-huge-debt-student-struggles-with-six-fig/npQdx /
Our family is requesting the following be addressed by our legislators before the  private student loan bubble bursts.

  •  Better disclosure for which loan is a private loan vs. federal loan on the emails that Sallie Mae sends via emails/U.S. Mail. (For example I didn’t know a Signature Loan per an email is a private loan until I googled it. Subsidized vs unsubsidized. etc) 
  • We request legislation on capping student loans at specific amount related to the degree that is being earned.
  • I would also request that students that drop to a 2.2 Grade Point Average be required to take a year off of school in order to “cool off”  instead of taking loan after loan.
  •  We also want legislation where seniors in high school that are on the college track take a mandatory course on student financial aid/grants/ scholarship for at least one semester.

The irony is that University of Miami got their money, so they really don’t care what happens with the student after that. Many institutions push these loans and then before you know it, what happened to my son could happen to someone else. 

THE PRIVATE STUDENT FINANCIAL AID BUBBLE IS ABOUT TO BURST!

 

 

 



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Randi Solomon needs your help with “HELP STOP PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN PREDATORY PRACTICES!”. Join Randi and 87 supporters today.