Welcome to the fastest-growing grassroots effort on Facebook and the web! Since January, 2009, through Facebook, Twitter, MoveOn.org and media attention, over 650,000 people have joined this cause to make their voices heard. Our success is entirely due to the active participation of our members. As such, here's a few tips on how best to get involved:
1) The "share" and "like" buttons are your friend! When an article or link is posted that you agree with, please like it, then share it so that it's posted on your own profile for your friends and family to see. Share on other groups you belong to as well. The more often you share these links, the greater our ability to grow and reach new audiences.
2) Sign our latest petition in favor of H.R. 4170, The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, and invite your friends and family to do the same.
* For a plain english, easy-to-understand, 3-page summary of H.R. 4170, click here.
* To read the full bill, click here.
4) If you're on Facebook, please join the FSLD group and stay up-to-date on the latest news, information and opinions regarding the growing student loan crisis in America. Invite your friends and family to join as well.
5) Participate in our new photo journal project, OccupyStudentDebt.com, in partnership with the folks behind the film Default: The student Loan Documentary (currently airing on PBS! Check your local listings!). There, we're collecting stories and photos of people buried in student loan debt. Many are holding signs indicating the amount they originally borrowed vs. the amount they currently owe, in an effort to visually demonstrate how perverse the student lending system has become.
10) Join the conversation! Share your own student loan stories with the rest of the community. If nothing else, you'll quickly discover that you're not alone and that millions of Americans are struggling just like you. There's no shame in owing money simply because you sought to better yourself through education, but it certainly helps to know you're in good company.
11) Stay alert! If you find an article, video, news release or other information you believe would be of interest to fellow members of the group, post it! Please try to keep any such postings relevant, i.e. on the subject of student loans, excessive debt, loan forgiveness, increasing tuition costs, income disparity and the general health (or lack thereof) of the economy.
13) Reach out and network! As the Founder of FSLD, I have profiles set up in the following places, please feel free to join and to invite others:
*Twitter - @bobbyapples
*LinkedIn (Personal Profile): http://www.linkedin.com/my
*LinkedIn (FSLD Group): http://www.linkedin.com/gr
*Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pa
14) Visit the ForgiveStudentLoanDebt.com store where you can find lots of great merchandise sporting the FSLD logo with all proceeds going towards the fulfillment of the goals of this organization. Get your FSLD Stuff today and help spread the word!
Thanks again to everyone who's joined this cause to fight for the middle class! Your participation is the key to our continuing success!
Founder & Executive Director
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I paid cash for my AA and BS degree, but after a brutal divorce that left me strapped, I took out a small student loan to achieve a Master's (Organizational Leadership)degree so I could get a HIGHER PAYING JOB. First: to the pilot; the small percentage of the population, like me, who are driven to complete a higher education do not only have a work ethic just long enough to get through school, it is ingrained in us. We work very hard for everything in our lives, not only our college degrees...you are very narrow minded, and ignorant to call us all "lazy asses" in a blanket statement.
I still have a very strong work ethic, and a very postive work history. What I don't have yet is a full-time, career-type job that pays me enough to make my loan payments, rent payments (I rent a room, no home) and pay for food. God bless the local food banks. I have applied for more than 400 jobs since Nov 2007, and have the blessing, and expense, of going all the way to final interviews, but do not get hired. I'm now 58 years old. I'm sure this is the 'unspoken issue.'
I am a sub-teacher, a realtor and former business owner/developer, and have been working since I was 12. My loan has doubled in only four years, due to interest and fees. Most of us would be more than willing to pay off our loans, if we had the type of employment we anticipated when we went into our programs. I would PREFER to pay off my loan, as I am a person of integrity and values. But my credit is damaged, so I cannot get a small-business loan to start a new business, thought I am thoroughly qualified to do so. Real estate market is still in a slump, and it is a "pay-to-play" profession. I have worked as hard at getting a full-time, permanent job as I have worked at everything else I do, and I have paid taxes for over 40 years. Have voted since I was 18. So I am not asking for a hand-out or a free ride, and I am far from lazy. I would just like fair lending practices. I also had a predatory home loan, that just settled litigation. There is something wrong here...and we, the people, have the responsiblilty to hold our public servant-leaders accountable for this warped education-lending system.
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I attended Virginia College in Pensacola in the Nursing Program. I was four months away from graduation when we broke for Spring break. After the break and the students returned to school excited that we only have a semester left of school before graduation, we where told that the program requirements had changed. These changes lead to 12 nursing students to be withdrawn by the school. We where told that we could come back in 6 months when the new program started and complete the course under the new guide lines. This meant that we had to pay double the tuition, because the cost went up and it also meant that we would finish school in a year instead of one semester adding more cost. All 12 students are single moms, and could not afford the delay of graduation and getting a paying job, nor could we afford the cost of the higher tuition to return. One of the students was a single mom that had a child with a disability; she cried uncontrollably knowing that she would not be able to return. When we approached the dean of students saying that a program change is for the new students coming on and that this was not only wrong but a breach of contract. We where told that the reason that they changed the program requirements was because the school was in fear of loosing the nursing program and had to change the nursing program requirements. Because in order for the them to keep the program, the school had to have there pass rate higher, and it was a way to weed out students. Twelve students do not have a degree, no job because we could not finish the course and now we are in debt with high student loans. I, along with the other students are in the process of looking for an attorney, but we have not been able to find one that deals with this type of lawsuit. Any help or advice that any one can give us would be appreciated. Also if you Google Virginia College Lasw suite, they are being sued by students in Mississippi, (nursing program) for taking the students money and loosing their accreditation, and not telling the students. The students can not take their state boards now, and are with out a degree and a job. This is an out cry!
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I'm involved in a pro se appeal to the Federal Appellate Court, 2nd District, regarding a Federal Court dismissal of my claim against a state guarantor of an alleged federal education loan based on states' sovereign immunity.
I have until February 6, 2012 to file my appellant brief.
My legal research thus far has enlightened me to the fact that the states' sovereign immunity "defense" in a federal loan environment is very fluid and almost arbitrary, bearing in mind the inherent contradiction of a state acquiescing to federal jurisdiction by becoming a guarantor for alleged federal student loans.
This unconstitutional juridical arbitrariness includes the states affirmatively -- in federal loan agreements etc and by ceding authority to the US Department of Education and all of the federal legal remedies that doing so naturally invokes-- waiving sovereign immunity at the same time as they refute that they have sufficiently affirmatively ceded their sovereignty to invite Federal court jurisdiction over claims that fall squarely within a federal student loan environment.
The states' contradiction in this regard is particularly marked in my case, since the state guarantor in question allowed the case to be removed from state court to federal court, further diminishing any claim of sovereign immunity.
There is, in my case, also the issue of the state guarantor invoking an Treasury Department offset of my IRS refund absent any proof of existence and/or validity of alleged indebtedness.
The only remedy that Federal law offers in the case of improper offset of IRS refunds is appeal to the state guarantor for adjudication of the challenge -- i.e. asking the Defendant to decide the case it is being prosecuted for.
This additional nexus of jurisdictions also raises substantive questions regarding the state's sovereign immunity claim.
These are very complicated issues, for sure.
My question/request, is: are there any attorneys or other legal scholars reading this or that anyone knows of who would be willing to either take on this appeal, either as lead counsel or, secondarily, as a legal support for me as I continue to prosecute this appeal pro se?
Obviously, this would be a pro bono gig.
However, on the plus side, this appeal is potentially substantive and broadly applicable enough to warrant national investigation, by the national press, and it deals with a timely and pervasive enough Constitutional issue for SCOTUS to potentially take an interest in it.
That issue is states' rights per states who affirmatively agree to become agents of the Federal government in the matter of guaranteeing alleged student loans, but who then claim sovereign immunity when challenged in the same courts they invoke on loan agreements etc for their misbehavior in their actions on behalf of the Federal government.
There are also substantive 6th Amendment issues to be investigated, the civil law environment nothwithstanding.
I will check back regularly to see if there are any interested responses, and I will respond in a timely fashion to anyone seeking more information about my case and/or requesting more personal contact details.
I took out $30,000 in student loans from sallie mae to obtain a masters degree in the counseling field. I worked with mentally ill kids and adults for eight years after I graduated. I had been through a nasty divorce, lost child support, and was working at a local hospital six days per week, plus a few hours per week trying to work up a small private practice.
At the time, I thought sallie mae was doing me a favor allowing me to forebear my payments! How wrong and naive I was at that time. That was 1997. Fast forward to today: I no longer work in mental health, my kids are mostly grown, though I am now the one making hefty child support payments. I had gotten myself into some trouble with debt, and am now faithfully working a debt reduction program. I pay all of my bills on time, including a now $500 per month payment to sallie mae!
I have had the where with all to find a much better job in pharmaceutical sales. I am watching the changes and decline in this industry as the healthcare laws change, and 2012 is around the corner with the "Sunshine Act."
By the time I pay off my student loan, I will have paid nearly three times the original loan principle! I pay a whopping 8.25% interest, which is locked as I have already had my one time consolidation.
In my opinion, sallie mae is guilty of predatory lending practices in the same manner in which the mortgage industry lent money to everybody and anybody, knowing full well that many people would not be able to pay off their loans! I have made many attempts to obtain relief, all to no avail. If I had run up over $100,000 going to medical school to work with the same population I had worked with, my loans would have been forgiven since I was working social service with a high risk population. If I had worked as a certified teacher, or nurse practitioner in the same field, I could also have had my loans forgiven. But, since I pursued a masters degree, and worked at a local for profit hospital, I did not qualify for any type of loan forgiveness. At one point, I was told that if I went back to school, took out even more loans, that I could then apply to reconsolidate my loans for a lower interest rate! I thought, "you have got to be kidding me!"
I am basically a responsible citizen who is working very hard to undo my financial mistakes of the past. I look back wishing that I had done something different than what I did do, but I didn't know what I didn't know at the time. My loan is now $61,000 after having paid on it faithfully now for over six years. If anyone knows how I can obtain even partial relief, I would greatly appreciate it!
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays to all our former and newest members! This is a time to realize that we have an awesome group of Americans in this group, spearheaded by Attorney Robert Applebaum. In this upcoming year, let us work together as Americans for this FSLD CAUSE, with Courage and Strength, never wavering, and working towards an election year in which We The People, along with the Occupiers will be heard, and have a powerful voice and motivate our Congresspersons to work diligently with Rep. Hansen Clark to change this nation for the better. We have a large voting base here, so let' keep growing. We can affect their campaigns. We can make ourselves heard, we can let our Representatives know we are watching every step they take and make. We will vote them out and we can... I have recently met with my Rep. Mike Michaud, and I am planning on meeting with Rep. Susan Collins before the years end. They are working and representing the people, if they don't we can let them know exactly where we stand, and why. Make your case. With Congressional approval rating the lowest in history, I don't see how they can make theirs. This is our nation, our country, and selling our educational system like a commodity to be exploited by lenders, special interests, and even our own Dept. of Ed.-- supporting this is social injustice. Forgivingstudentloandebt is the beginning of correcting these injustices. Good luck to everyone and good luck contacting your Representatives. We are in this together, to win it... and please send your thanks to Robert Applebaum, and Rep. Hansen Clark. Remember, losing is not an option.
Have you tried to consolidate all of your loans through Direct Loans? They are the best there is to deal with. Now is a good time to do it (with interest rates being so low). Get away from Sallie Mae!!! They are absolutely evil!!! Good luck.
My previous post was intended as a reply to dcpd867's post on 11/30/09- not as a separate comment. But it can be generalized to anyone out there who can: GET AWAY FROM SALLIE MAE!!!!!!!!! They (the student lending agencies) are all bad- but I think Sallie Mae takes the prize for the most revolting.
Hello, This is the first time and forum that I have been able to express this problem. I hope sombody hears me and can help me.
About 27 years ago, I took out loan for about $1.700 for Hairdressing School.. Due to a personal family situation, I had to quit after only a few weeks. I was told to sign papers to sign off on the loan. I did, and never thought about it again. I also learned that the school went bankrupt sometime later. many years later I got a call saying I owed thousands of dollars. I tried to explain what had happen and for them to check thier records. They wouldnt listen and continued to send me bills. Unfortunetly I put my head in the sand as I had no course of action to take. Now 27 years later they want to garnish my wadges.. I am a 54 yr. old woman with a small job of $11.00 hr.. My 60 yr. husband has not been working as much and we are behind in rent and just trying to survive. Is there anbody who can help me or direct me in the right direction. I am scared and desperate of what will happen to me next. Thank-You for any advice you can share with me Cheryl
I would just like to comment on the issue of making donations to your organization. I first found this website during the summer after I was laid off from my job. I have not yet made a donation in spite of the fact that I whole-heartedly support the cause. It has been somewhat confusing as to who and what organization I would donate to. At first, there was no donation information. Then you added the link to Donation Information where there was a simple reference to being a 501(d)4 organization. ( I think that was the number). However, today, December 12, the link to the page goes to "Page Not Found."
I would like to donate, but where is my money going to go?
I feel completely stuck and discouraged. Upon graduating from highschool I went on to a 4 year university. I was the first person in my family to go on to college and I obtained my first B.S. degree in December 2000 using federal student loans both subsidized and unsubsidized as well as a couple of small pell grants. I had no other choice, but to take out loans and live on credit cards as I had no college fund set up for me. My dad became ill when I was in 3rd grade and was no longer able to work by the time I was in 6th grade. Social security benefits that we received was only enough to pay some of our bills. He passed away 1 1/2 months after I graduated highschool. My mom continued to work as a nurse, but didn't make very much as we lived in a small town of less than 1,000. She became ill 2 years after my dad passed away in 1998 and she passed away in 2003. I was in my 2nd year of college and actually dropped out for a semester to help her financially, emotionally, and physically. Once her social security benefits kicked in I enrolled back into college where I completed my 1st B.S. degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice. I pursued this degree because I really enjoyed law enforcement and I thought I would never marry and have a family. However, that all changed when I moved and became employed with the Kansas Department of Corrections. I met my now husband and we married and started a family. Now my priorities have changed and I no longer want a career in law enforcement also my husband is in law enforcement and did not want both of us in a dangerous career. I wondered what I was going to do after my kids became school aged. So I went back to school and obtained a 2nd B.S. degree this time in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing/Sales. Again I had to utilize Federal Student Loans both Subsidized and Unsubsidized as well as a few Private Loans. With my first set of student loans from my 1st degree I was able to consolidate them all and have the same interest rate. Now, Sallie Mae will not consolidate any of my student loans and they all have different interest rates and 2 of my loans were sold to the Department of Education. This is making our payments extremely high and I have begun applying for work 1 year earlier than I had wanted to and find that I am either looked at as over qualified because I have 2 degrees or I don't have enough experience to get a job in my new career field. The employment rate is bad enough, but even when there are openings I am running into problems. I really regret getting this 2nd degree now as I am constantly thinking about how much money I have caused me and my family to waste. Everyone stresses the importance of obtaining a higher education, but if this keeps happening it is going to discourage everyone from doing so. All I wish is that all of my loans could have the same interest rate and be from the same lender and not have had a couple of them sold to the Department of Education. If anyone knows anything I can do to make this happen and/or get some relief I would be grateful. I know there are many others in the same situation. Good Luck to everyone!