Company Forces Grieving Mom To Pay Dead Son’s $20K Student Loans
Amid a haze of grief after her son’s murder last year, Marcia DeOliveira-Longinetti faced an endless list of tasks – helping the police gain access to Kevin’s phone and email; canceling his subscriptions, credit cards and bank accounts; and arranging his burial in New Jersey.
When DeOliveira-Longinetti called about his federal loans, an administrator offered condolences and assured her the remaining balance would be written off.
But she got a far different response from a New Jersey state agency that had also lent her son money.
“Please accept our condolences on your loss,” a letter from that agency, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, said. “After careful consideration of the information you provided, the authority has determined that your request does not meet the threshold for loan forgiveness. Monthly bill statements will continue to be sent to you.”
DeOliveira-Longinetti, who co-signed on the loans, was shocked and confused. But her experience with the authority, which runs by far the largest state-based student loan program in the country, is hardly an isolated one, an investigation by ProPublica, in collaboration with The New York Times, found.
The mom will have to pay her deceased son’s remaining $20k in student loans…
DeOliveira-Longinetti, who emigrated from Brazil and had long worked as a nanny while raising her son as a single mother, always knew that paying for his college education would be a challenge. Even after marrying her husband when Kevin DeOliveira was in middle school, she knew that their combined income would not be enough to cover the costs. A friend told her about New Jersey’s program. That, along with a combination of scholarships, grants and other loans, allowed DeOliveira to enroll at the University of Vermont.
Since her son’s murder, DeOliveira-Longinetti has made 18 payments to New Jersey. Paying $180 per month, she has about 92 to go.
“We’re not going to be poor because of this,” she said. “But every time I have to pay this thing, I think in my head, this is so unfair.”
Sallie Mae really ain’t isht!!!!