Forgive Student Loans for Victims/ Survivors of Domestic Violence!!
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Although there are many organizations and agencies who offer assistance to Victims/Survivors of Domestic Violence, many times they have long waiting lists or lack funding and resources to adequately help those in immediate need. As a result, these people end up hopeless, homeless and unable to provide for their families. They are left only with the choice to either return to their abuser or live in poverty~ dependent on the Welfare system. Even if they MIGHT be eligible to receive certain types emergency, temporary assistance, these families are not given priority over the thousands of other applicants, and help may not be available or offered, for years.
In some situations, the Social Security Administration will even assign them new Social Security numbers so that they can have a fresh start. However, without a proper education, obtaining employment and sufficiently providing for themselves and their children, is nearly impossible.
The Department of Education currently provides no help for these people. They will not even grant a "Loan Deferrment" or "Forbearance" to Victims of Domestic Violence, in order to postpone their student loan payments until they are financially secure enough to pay them. These loans eventually Default, making it impossible for them to complete or further their eduaction and become self sufficient and able to pay their loan back completely.
In addition, once the loan is in Default, the government then garnishes wages, seizes tax returns and destroys credit ratings. The Dept of Education currently only offers loan forgiveness for the following reasons: The borrower dies or becomes permanently or totally disabled; The borrower files Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy (but loan forgiveness is still rare, in these situations); In cases of Identity Theft; or when the Educational Institution has made a mistake or is at fault.
The Department of Education needs to make exceptions for Victims of Domestic Violence and sympathize with the financial devostation, that results~Not limit their potential and further cripple them by hindering their options and contributing to permanent dependency on Welfare, Foodstamps, and Government Aided programs(....and still never being able to re-pay their loans).
IF an individual is able to provide proof & documentation(Police Reports, Restraining Orders, Official Court Records, etc) that they are a Survivor of Domestic Violence or a life threatening situation, or if they receive a referral from a Goverment Agency(Such as; The Superior Court or Child Protective Services), they should be able to have their student loan cancelled or forgiven, IF their goal is to complete their education, or, IF relief of the loan obligation, will contribute to their success living independently in society.
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