My son Cameron was my firstborn child and very special to me. He was handsome, a Division I athlete, and brave. He was also brilliant -- when he left school to serve his country in the Air Force after 9/11, he became a cryptologist. But a traumatic brain injury left him emotionally scarred, and he committed suicide almost exactly a year ago.
Thing is, none of that matters to Cameron's student lender, Key Bank. I co-signed Cameron's private student loan, and when he died they just started calling me to collect his debt. Collection calls are the most callous kind of reminder that you've lost a loved one, and I got them every day.
The truth is, I can't afford to pay my son's loans now that he's dead. I'm a single parent still caring for Cameron's younger siblings and paying for the counseling services they so desperately need but that my insurance just doesn't cover. Virtually all my son's other debts were forgiven when he died, except for this one. In fact, other major private student lenders and KeyBank competitors have implemented policies forgiving the student loan debt of dead beneficiaries. for example, Wells Fargo, Sallie Mae, Discover, and Citi Financial among them. In addition, loans guaranteed by the federal government are automatically discharged on proof of death.
In April 2012, Key Bank forgave the student loans of of Christopher Bryski, a young man who died before he even graduated from college after his brother started a petition on Change.org. With your help, I know I can get the same result.
Please sign my petition asking Key Bank to forgive my son Cameron's student loan. Thank you.
- President and CEO, Key Bank
- Key Bank
- Key Bank
I'm shocked and angry that your company has once again refused to forgive a grieving family's loan debt following the death of their child, who was the primary borrower. Your policy defies common decency, and I demand that you forgive Cameron Akers' student debt and adopt a policy of loan forgiveness in the uncommon and awful cases where the primary borrower dies before they can pay their debt in full.
In doing so, you would bring your policy in line with private student lenders such as Wells Fargo, as well as with the federal government's policy.
I urge you to immediately do the right thing for Cameron Akers' family, and every other family that meets such terrible tragedy.
Kimberly Akers started this petition with a single signature, and now has 215,977 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.