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Student Loan Borrowers With Cancer Are Overwhelmed With Debt


In 2018, President Trump signed a bill into law that allowed student loan borrowers with cancer to pause their payments. However, cancer patients are still receiving monthly bills. The Department of Education has not given people an application for deferment despite the fact that the bill was signed into law nearly seven months ago.

Colleen Campbell is the associate director of postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress. She stated that she has talked to several loan servicers. They are frustrated with the Department of Education.

Peter Tanner is one of the many cancer suffers who is supposed to be able to defer his student loan payments. He has more than $15,000 in student loan debt. He was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer last year.

Peter was in the hospital for several weeks. He has also lost 70 pounds and had three abdominal surgeries. He was happy to find out that he would be able to postpone his student loan payments. He has already maxed out credit cards and had to take out a home equity loan.

However, Peter has yet to benefit from this program. He has called his loan servicer several times. He was told that there is not even an application available for the program. He was also told that he would not be able to enroll in the program until he filled out the application.

Peter has been able to apply for a temporary forbearance. However, his loans still accrue interest while they are in forbearance. Mark Kantrowitz is an expert on loan debt. He said that changes need to be made soon because cancer patients can’t wait.

Julie Roberts has stage 4 breast cancer. She owes $50,000 in student loan debt. She has given up on getting student loan deferment for her cancer. She has called the student loan provider several times. No one seems to understand the program. She is hoping that this will get resolved soon. She will be getting a mastectomy soon. She will also get several rounds of radiation.