Student loan borrowers can be hard to understand in the financial world.
How can a student be so far behind on payments?
How do they qualify for a hardship loan?
And what does it mean to have a student loan defaulted on?
For many borrowers, their loan history can be difficult to understand, especially if they’ve been struggling with debt all their lives.
A recent Consumer Reports survey found that one in five borrowers who received a loan cancellation notice said that they hadn’t even thought about it.
“I’m really, really confused,” said Erin Krawiec, a 26-year-old college student in Indiana.
“It’s a huge shock to my wallet.”
Krawietcy and her husband, Alex, have been struggling for years.
The couple started looking into getting a mortgage last year, and they’ve since paid off a mortgage, but that’s not enough.
The Krawies have been looking at refinancing their loan with an underwater lender, but they’ve had to wait years to find that out.
Krawietc, who is attending Indiana University, has been struggling since 2013 when she was first laid off from a factory job.
She and her boyfriend had been working for an automotive parts supplier when they decided to apply for a home loan.
The company closed in 2014 and the couple, along with a group of their friends, had to leave their homes.
Krewiec says the job lost its stability, and the financial pain of the layoffs and the loss of income sent her into a depression.
But after refinancing her loan, she started making monthly payments on time and was able to keep her home and her friends.
“It was definitely a difficult time, but I really thought that if I just went through it, I would be fine,” she said.
“But now, I’m struggling.
I’m still struggling.”KRAWIEC said she’s been on the phone with the company multiple times, but has been unable to get the paperwork to move forward, despite numerous calls.”
We’re waiting for the paperwork and waiting for them to get in front of the court,” she added.
She said she has never seen a default notice before and has no idea what the consequences of having a loan cancelled are.
“What is going to happen to me if I don’t pay this?
How are I going to pay for my home?
What if I can’t pay for it?
It’s very, very stressful.”
For many, getting their loan canceled means that they’ll have to go back to school.
“If I don’ have a job, I have to make payments,” Krawiettcy said.
If you or someone you know needs help with student loan debt, call Student Debt Help Line at 1-800-821-7272.