Freedom Debt Relief Announces First Recipients in Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Initiative
June 11, 2020
New Effort Aims to Give Freedom Debt Relief Clients A Fresh Start and Call Attention to $1.6 Trillion Student Debt Crisis
San Mateo, Calif., June 11, 2020 – Freedom Debt Relief (FDR) announced that Emely Alcantara of Massachusetts and Lynn Martalock of Wisconsin will be the first recipients of student debt forgiveness as part of the company’s initiative to assist its clients with their student loan debt. This effort, spearheaded by FDR, is assisting clients with student debt repayment to raise awareness of its impact on consumers and the economy at large, and the sparse options available to Americans facing financial hardship due to rising student loan debt.
Emblematic of thevastness of this problem, thousands of Freedom clients applied for the studentloan forgiveness program, submitting an essay or video on what they would telltheir younger selves before taking out student loans.
“We see the enormousimpact student debt has on our client base with no clear solution in sight,”said Freedom Financial Network Co-CEO Andrew Housser. “This initiative is justone way we are doing our part to help our clients, but, for the sake ofAmericans as we face a historic challenge to repair the U.S. economy, industryand policymakers should reform the current system so federal student loan debtcan be discharged during bankruptcy, saving the most vulnerable consumers froman overwhelming burden with no end in sight.”
“For me, student loan debt was an anchor weighing down mine and my family’s future,” said Emely Alcantara. “This opportunity changed my life, for once I have a real opportunity in staying ahead of my finances and not worry about unpaid debt.”
“At age 49, I made thedecision to go back to school and finish my degree while continuing to workhard and put four children of my own through school,” said Lynn Martalock. “Thepassing of my late husband after fighting cancer for more than seven years putus in financial stress, but this money will help ease the burden of myremaining student loans.”
Recent company datafound that 29 percent of clients enter their FDR programs with student debt atan average balance of more than $43,000 – far greater than $36,000 – theaverage balance for student loan borrowers across the country. Of the FDRclients with student loan debt, 54 percent said they cannot save any moneybecause of this debt, and 58 percent said it causes them to feel overwhelmedabout their financial situation.
“Student loan debt isnot an isolated part of finances for our clients or consumers across thecountry, it weighs on every financial decision they make, whether it is takingon additional debt, building savings, starting a business or buying a house,”Housser continued. “With limited options to resolve student loan debt, many ofour clients put off servicing other debts, including credit card bills, causingthem to take on massive amounts of unsecured debt and get stuck in a seeminglynever-ending cycle.”
In the United States,consumers are largely restricted from discharging student loan debt inbankruptcy and from negotiating with their creditors to ease their studentdebt. This means millions of Americans remain trapped by a system which makesit far too easy to get into debt with no simple way out as things currentlystand.