Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Overloaded with Student Debt?

Touro Law Center Professor Meredith Miller has a blog entitled The Slippery Slope, a regular podcast serious on interesting areas in the law. Professor Miller's most recent podcast concerns federal legislation that is meant to help with student loan debt load. The description of this very interesting podcast as taken from Professor Miller's blog is:

A recent podcast featured a conversation with Heather Jarvis, Senior Program Manager for Law School Advocacy at Equal Justice Works. Heather is a national expert on educational debt and financial barriers facing law school graduates.

Student debt isn't quite a fun topic, but it is an important one. In the coming weeks, many students will begin their legal education, taking on a burdensome pile of debt and the attendant anxiety about paying it back. Thanks to Heather's efforts, law students and graduates can be a little less anxious.

Heather has been a tireless advocate for the new federal loan forgiveness law, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act ("CCRAA"), which was signed into law in September 2007. She is fluent in this complex rubric, and the interview is overflowing with indispensable information for anyone with student loan debt, anyone about to incur student loan debt, and anyone advising or mentoring someone with student loan debt.

Because income based repayment is not limited to public service work, it is worth listening even if you are in the private sector. And, it is especially important to listen if you work in public service, which is broadly defined by the statute. If you follow all of the rules outlined, you could be eligible for loan forgiveness in 10 years.

Our conversation focuses on navigating the complicated waters of the CCRAA. Topics include: eligibility for income based repayment, the statute's definition of "financial hardship," eligibility for loan forgiveness, what constitutes "public service work" under the CCRAA, career public interest work and ramen noodles. Here's a link that contains more information about the CCRAA and the worksheets and calculators mentioned in the podcast.

You can listen to the podcast here.

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