U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Personal Finance
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
Old 05-10-2010, 01:43 AM
 
Location: Minnesota, USA
7,437 posts, read 7,615,968 times
Reputation: 5916
Default Student Loan Forgiveness - Brain Cancer?

I recently heard about someone getting their student loans forgiven (or at least deferred, probably indefinitely) because they developed brain cancer.

I have an WHO grade II oligodendroglioma brain tumor. It was discovered the fall semester of my senior year in college (that is, last fall). My degree is one of those that are semi-"useless" without an M.A. Unfortunately, smack-dab while in the grad school application process my tumor was discovered, and the surgery left me out of school for four weeks, and needless to say, interrupted my grad school application process. I am applying for grad schools for next year.

I can work and should be able to make the initial payments upon the end of my six-month grace periods, but my tumor could kill me in a few years (or it could allow me to live for 30 or 40 years...it is known for its clinically unpredictable behavior). I don't want to die in repayment. Has anyone heard of student loans being forgiven or deferred due to terminal cancer?

BTW, the value of the student loans is about $23,000. I could get a job locally and pay it right off, perhaps within a year (I live with my mother and don't have any bills...the hospital I was operated at's charity care took care of that) but that's kind of tough when you are on a chemotherapy / anti-nausea / anti-epileptic drug regimen that costs $5,000 / month and is payed almost 100% by the state (thankfully!), and making that much money could kick us all off MinnesotaCare.

Last edited by tvdxer; 05-10-2010 at 02:35 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-10-2010, 11:07 AM
 
2,413 posts, read 5,380,344 times
Reputation: 2911
Really sorry for your medical problems.

That said, I don't know if it would get you out of paying your loans, or even if it should get you out of paying your loans.

If you have government student loans (i.e. not Private) I do know that you have the right to apply for INCOME BASED REPAYMENT - which, if you qualify (sounds like you would), would take a small percentage of your income for 25 years. However, if you are NOT working, your expected payment would be 0 - and would still count towards the 25 years.

So - if you survive the cancer but can't work due to your treatments, you loan would still be paid off in 25 years, even if you could not work for the next several years because you were getting treatment....

Of course when you CAN work, a percentage would be owed to pay on the loans.

Its a really good option, and more people who can, should apply for it.

Good luck - hope it all works out for you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2010, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Southern California native, now a few miles from Lake Michigan
803 posts, read 2,402,977 times
Reputation: 1105
I strongly hope that you live a long time, and enjoy a happy, normal life.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2010, 06:57 AM
 
569 posts, read 930,919 times
Reputation: 489
tvdxer,

First of all, I too hope you conquer the cancer and live a long, happy life. However, I would not worry about your student loans. If you have government loans (Stafford, Perkins, or consolidated consisting only of Stafford/Perkins), and you die, the loans are automatically forgiven. No one will pursue your estate or grieving relatives.

I don't know that you could get the loans forgiven right now, but you might have a good case for hardship deferral, which would postpone repayment (though interest will still accrue) until you have a better financial situation. Of course, if you get into grad school, your loans will be eligible for a in-school deferral.

Good luck with everything!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2010, 07:03 AM
 
20,802 posts, read 30,680,900 times
Reputation: 9819
You can apply for a deferral and then, if able, consolidate for an income based pay off. As for total forgiveness, that is probably considered on a case by case basis so the only way to know is to ask. Aren't you glad you live in MN and have access to MNCare .
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-15-2010, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
24,685 posts, read 15,826,373 times
Reputation: 29792
years ago was critically sick as well and got a letter from the doctor stating the extent of my illness and was able to completely void my student loans. Actually it was the lady at the collection agency who told me what to do. Don't know if that can still be done but I certainly would try it. I'm sure medical people face this sort of request all the time.
Obviously I got better but at the time I was unable to work and as long as the doctor said that- that was all that was needed. Not a deferral but a complete waiver of all my loans.

Good luck.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-20-2010, 05:10 PM
 
10 posts, read 18,785 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Briolat21 View Post
Really sorry for your medical problems.

That said, I don't know if it would get you out of paying your loans, or even if it should get you out of paying your loans.

If you have government student loans (i.e. not Private) I do know that you have the right to apply for INCOME BASED REPAYMENT - which, if you qualify (sounds like you would), would take a small percentage of your income for 25 years. However, if you are NOT working, your expected payment would be 0 - and would still count towards the 25 years.

So - if you survive the cancer but can't work due to your treatments, you loan would still be paid off in 25 years, even if you could not work for the next several years because you were getting treatment....

Of course when you CAN work, a percentage would be owed to pay on the loans.

Its a really good option, and more people who can, should apply for it.

Good luck - hope it all works out for you.
Briolat21 offered an excellent suggestion. Income-based repayment, or IBR, requires only a portion of your income as a monthly payment. If your annual income in less than 150% of the poverty guideline (right now, that amount is $16,245 for a family of one living in the contiguous U.S.), your payment will be $0. The payment amount is re-evaulated each year based on your prior year's earnings.

I hope it never comes to this, but if you do get to a point where you are completely unable to work because of the cancer, there is a loan cancellation provision on your federal student loans for total and permanent disabilty. This is granted to individuals whose physicians certify that they are completely unable to work and earn money for at least 5 years. If, heaven forbid, you ever get to that point, call your lender and ask about this option.

I wish you well, hope that you kick the cancer, and live a long & full life. Good luck in grad school.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-20-2010, 10:38 PM
 
9,173 posts, read 10,853,767 times
Reputation: 8959
Here is a recent case that outlines the current law:

Student Loan Discharge: NYS CASE
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Personal Finance

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top