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CEFC Student Loan Debt Repayment Counseling Success Stories
Counselors who are participating in the CEFC Student Loan Debt Repayment program at Urban Edge in Boston recently shared these stories of borrowers who successfully addressed their financial concerns with the help of their counselors and the CEFC student loan debt repayment counseling “checklist.” The counseling checklist helps each individual borrower identify and explore his or her possible repayment options and make informed choices.
UNDEREMPLOYED AND IN DEFAULT
A student loan borrower who had received counseling previously came in recently for a follow-up session with Alexsandria Connelly, Urban Edge student loan debt repayment counselor. The borrower was eager to share her good news with Connelly and renew her annual application for an Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan for her federal student loans.
Connelly said that at the time of the borrower’s first counseling session, she was underemployed and in default on her loans. After counseling, the borrower applied for an Income-Based Repayment plan and looked for a better job, even though it meant that she would need to relocate. She now has a better-paying job in her field, is out of default and is current on her student loans.
In addition, Connelly counseled the borrower’s mother who was also in default on her student loans and unemployed. The mother also received help in finding an affordable repayment plan and was able to get out of default on her student loans. As a result, she has returned to school to finish her degree.
UNABLE TO AFFORD MORTGAGE DUE TO STUDENT DEBT
A man and his wife, who wanted to buy a home, had recently completed the City of Boston’s Homebuyer Education Program, but discovered that they could not afford a home loan mortgage due largely to their student loan debt. The homebuyer program referred the couple to the student loan counselors at Urban Edge for assistance.
The couple’s initial situation was this: They had a Parent Plus loan balance of $38,000 for their daughter’s education, requiring a monthly payment of $546. In addition, the wife had a student loan balance of $113,000 that had been deferred since 2002 because of a serious accident that had disabled her.
With the counselor’s help, the couple learned about and secured an income-based plan that lowered their monthly payment to $189. Because the husband works for the City of Boston, he is eligible for forgiveness of the loan balance after 10 years of payments. In addition, Urban Edge was able to get the wife’s loan discharged through loan cancellation for total and permanent disability.
The couple then worked with the City of Boston’s Community Programs Director to improve their credit by opening a credit union account and obtaining a credit card. Finally, the couple went to the Urban Edge Homeowner Services Manager, who helped them obtain down payment assistance from the City and pre-approval from a lender.
As a result, the couple was able to obtain a home loan mortgage and purchase a condo.