Borrower’s Remorse

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Media Outlet: Washington Monthly

Stephen Burd wrote for the Washington Monthly about the origins and future of the borrower defense to repayment rule:

In 2006, Christina Hammond made a decision that she will regret for the rest of her life. She enrolled in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, campus of ITT Technical Institutes, a publicly traded chain of for-profit schools, to become an expert in computer network systems.

ITT, Hammond says, persuaded her to enroll by misleading her about her ability to find a job, transfer credits to other schools, and cover her costs with federal grants and loans alone. When she couldn’t cover those costs, ITT pressured her to take out expensive private loans to remain enrolled. Hammond graduated with $104,000 in federal and private student loan debt and hasn’t been able to get a job in her field. She is now working in a factory job she could have gotten before going to ITT and has defaulted on her loans.

Author:

Stephen Burd is a senior policy analyst with the Education Policy program at New America.