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PSLF horror story
January 1, 2017
6:31 am
Harvey Gemme

I consolidated my student loans with Department of Education in 9/2010. I should have 70 of the 120 payments towards the PSLF program. Fed Loan Servicing customer service reps and escalated reps kept telling me I had 50. I asked them for a file audit. They then dropped me to 20 qualifying payments. Apparently the Total Due (bolded on the monthly invoice) is not the monthly payment that counts towards the PSLF. There is another box on the invoice, called monthly payment (no total, not in bold type). One escalated rep told me that overpaying the amount, even by a few dollars causes future payments to be off. The extra money doesn’t go towards principal, like on a standard loan. You have to ask a rep directly to change the default setting so your extra money goes towards principal and doesn’t upset the monthly tally. I didn’t even know it was there until she mentioned it.

I received a copy of my service history on 12/20/16 and one of my payments qualified. I received another service history on 12/23/16 and it lists my payment short by one penny, so now it doesn’t qualify.

I asked to have a Borrower Experience Advocate assigned to the case. He is a Fed Loan Servicing/PHEAA employee, so I don’t expect things to be resolved in my favor. I also asked Senator Chris Murphy’s office for help. They assigned someone to monitor progress. I also created a CFPB complaint and got a response letter from a PHEAA Vice President. He said they are looking into my complaint and closed the case, so I disputed it.

My gut feeling is that PSLF is a fake program. It took toxic debt out of the Public money stream and consolidated it in the Department of Education. This debt can’t be bankrupted and will follow me to the grave, impacting Social Security payments and the ability to get on Medicaid. I have been on a fool’s errand, filling out paperwork and making payments…trying to grab a brass ring of financial stability.

January 1, 2017
9:26 am
Forum Posts: 352
Member Since:
May 3, 2014
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It sounds like you are taking all of the right steps to get this issue resolved. Hopefully one of the many different people you reached out to can get something done for you.

I’m a little confused as to why 30 of your payments were disqualified. Are you saying you paid extra, so Fed Loan Servicing decided that didn’t count as a monthly payment? How is that possible?

On other item that is worth keeping an eye on would be this lawsuit against the Department of Education: https://studentloansherpa.com/government-mind-loan-forgiveness/

The lawsuit mostly deals with the type of employer that qualifies for PSLF, but one of the remedies requested by the plaintiffs is that the department of education is no longer able to disqualify perviously certified payments. The case is brand new, so it will take some time to get resolved, but it is possible that a judgment may have very favorable language for your cause.

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