Student loan forgiveness meets a brick wall

Earlier this year a man contacted the Ombudsman for assistance with his student loan.

The man is a teacher and had taught for years in Title I and low-income schools. This teaching service entitles him to a forgiveness of his student loan. However, the loan servicing agency had declined to give him the loan forgiveness. The man reported that he had called and talked to many persons at the loan servicing agency, but he had run into a “brick wall.”

The Ombudsman contacted the loan servicing agency to explore the reason for the man’s problem. The Ombudsman learned that the man’s teaching career had included a year in a new school. The practice at the Ohio Department of Education was to not count a new school as an eligible school for the loan forgiveness program, because the school had no data from the prior year to demonstrate that the students received Title I services or were low-income students. The Ombudsman requested that an official at the Department of Education write to the loan-servicing agency and state that the school in question definitely should be counted as eligible for loan forgiveness because nearly all of the students were low-income.

The man then provided the certifications from the three other schools where he had taught to a manager at the loan servicing agency. The manager reviewed the official’s letter and the other three schools’ certifications and approved the man’s loan forgiveness. The man was thrilled to learn that his $8,000 student loan had been forgiven, and was grateful for the Ombudsman’s intervention.

The Ombudsman Column, a production of the Joint Office of Citizens’ Complaints, summarizes selected problems that citizens have had with government services, schools and nursing homes in the Dayton area. Contact the Ombudsman by writing to the Beerman Building, 11 W. Monument Avenue, Suite 606, Dayton 45402, or telephone (937) 223-4613, or by electronic mail at ombudsman@dayton-ombudsman.org or like us on Facebook at “Dayton Ombudsman Office.”

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