Since I decided I wanted to be a teacher, I have heard about all the ways you can get “teacher loan forgiveness” and “grants.” I thought this was such a great incentive for young adults to want to enter the profession of teaching. It sounds wonderful on paper, but you have to completely understand what you are getting into. I would highly consider the risks of these programs. If I had known everything I worked hard to earn would be taken away from me, I would probably have never tried in the first place.
Here’s where things get a little sketchy…
After five years of teaching, I still had student loans. I left my first school after three years, and I have been at my current school for two. When I searched the website, I could not find my school listed for loan forgiveness. There is something seriously wrong with the website. I even called, and the customer service representatives couldn’t find my school. So, I sucked it up and paid my loan off in February. All of it. I wanted to be free of interest. I wanted to be free of FedLoan Servicing. It only made sense to pay off my loan.
So it’s April, and I heard from around the grapevine that one of my coworkers got his loan forgiven. Why? Because when you search for the schools, you have to include the entire name of the school, and not just one word. My school is known by one name. If I search for that name, or when I call someone to ask about my school, it should pull up. Period. I was penalized another $5000 because the search engines would not pull my school up based on a keyword search. Even the lady on the phone couldn’t pull my school up. Why is it set that way? Are they purposefully trying to turn hardworking teachers away from what they rightfully deserve?
How many schools out there that are named the same exact way? Of course all our schools have specific names. We don’t ever use them. How many other people have had this same issue? And why aren’t the people working for the loan servicing company able to pull it up? This is basic SEO. This simple website algorithm can be fixed, and why aren’t they doing anything about it?
And you know what pisses me off the most? I still work with disadvantaged kids. I still spend my own money. I still need help. Why do Federal Loans operate in a way that hurts teachers? I can completely understand if I did not work in a low-income school, but I do. And I will continue doing it. Not sure I understand forgiveness. Maybe the people in charge should rephrase that. I sure don’t feel like I was forgiven.