(WSVN) – We’ve seen it again in South Florida. Last week, the ITT technical institute closed its doors and, once again, students who borrowed a lot of money to go to college were overwhelmed by the prospect of repaying loans for a school they wanted. have never graduated. But do the students have to repay this money? The answer is in Tonight’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Sally Zenon is a single mother, the breadwinner, and of course, she always needs more bread.
Sally Zenon, has to pay off a student loan: “And I said, ‘You know what? I have to step up my game, and I actually have to go out and improve.
It was 2013. Sally decided to go to school.
Sally Zenon: “And that’s when I went to ATI and said, ‘I’m just going to try the medical assistant field. “”
ATI was a private, for-profit university, and Sally says ATI made it easy to pay the $ 22,000 in tuition.
Sally Zenon: “The loan process was so quick. It is the fastest loan process I have ever seen. They said, ‘OK, you start school the next day.’ I was like ‘Awesome’.
Sally says the loan was backed by the federal government. Then, a few months later, ATI was charged with fraud and student swindling.
School closed and Sally’s problems began.
Sally Zenon: “The second document I received was a completion, a medical assistance diploma.
But the degree is worthless because the ATI issued it, even though Sally didn’t complete the courses, which means she can’t get certified to become a medical assistant.
Sally Zenon: “I am not registered in the State of Florida as a graduate student. “
And no more problems for Sally. The loan company is now demanding that she repay the $ 22,000 that was given to ATI for courses she was never allowed to complete.
Sally Zenon: “I keep getting letters all the time. I constantly get emails, like every three days, “You have to pay this loan, you have to pay this loan, you have to make this amount.”
Other ATI students have the same problem, and students at ITT Tech, which just closed in South Florida, now have to repay loans for a degree they didn’t get.
Sally Zenon: “I’m not the only one complaining. “
Sally then tried to go back to other schools, but was first told that she had to pay off the $ 22,000 loan, and then that she would have to start her studies again.
Sally Zenon: “They wouldn’t take credits. They will not accept me in their school. The point is, ATI screwed us up a bit.
A worthless diploma, a loan of $ 22,000 that she was told she had to pay back. Howard, the students of ATI and now ITT face the same problem. First question, do they have to repay the loans?
Howard Finkelstein: “If a student like Sally receives a loan guaranteed by the federal government through the United States Department of Education and the school closes, he is entitled to what is called a” loan cancellation ”and does not have to repay all or part of the loan, as the case may be.
Sally has a loan guaranteed by the federal government and is therefore eligible for cancellation of her loan by the Department of Education.
Now the second question, Howard: can she take credit for courses she has already completed at another school?
Howard Finkelstein: “It’s up to the school you are applying to to decide, but if they accept credits in a similar type of study, then you don’t get a loan rebate for the credits you’ve earned, but that’s okay because now you have earned these credits which will help you graduate faster to start paying back the money.
Sally Zenon: “I am in the process of canceling these loans. “
Sally has applied to have her loan canceled completely and is determined that this setback will not prevent her from graduating.
Sally Zenon: “No it’s not, because after that I will continue to go to nursing school.”
And we will continue to help Sally overcome this mess. Now, if you have a loan guaranteed by the federal government to ATI or ITT Tech that just closed, or any school that closed before you graduated, try to cancel the loan, even if you have already started paying it off. .
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