Devastating: Mom of Deceased Son Starts A Petition To Have His Student Loan Forgiven

23 comments
December 3, 2012 ‐ By

Image via Change.org

Ella Edwards’ son died in 2009 at the age of 24. Prior to his death, he studied music production in college. He had three student loans, which Edwards says she was “happy to cosign” in order for him to pursue his career of choice. Now that he’s gone, two of the loans — administered by the federal government — were quickly forgiven. But the administrators of the private loan are still pursuing her for re-payment of the outstanding balance, more than $10,000.

“That’s when American Education Services (AES) and National Collegiate Trust (NCT) turned my son’s dream into a nightmare for me and the two year old son he left behind,” she writes in a Change.org petition that she started to get the loan forgiven. “Jermaine was my only child, and after his death, I was so devastated I could barely get out of bed in the morning. I requested an early retirement from my job, losing much needed retirement benefits.” Are these loan companies serious?

She has amassed more than 20,000 signatures so far. She’s 61 years old and is trying to make the money to make good on the loan, but her depression is a hindrance. Furthermore, the mother of her grandson can’t help.

“Edwards told ABC she decided to start the petition to demand a change in the laws surrounding student loans, and to warn other parents what they might be getting into if they take out a private loan,” ABC News reports (h/t Global Grind).

If you have a soul, this story touches every single nerve in it. But even more than the emotional nature of the story is the issue of student loan indebtedness. InsideHigherEd reported a few weeks back that the “rhetoric of crisis” the media has used to describe the amount of student loan debt might be a little over the top (“…the majority of households owed less than $14,000. However, about 10 percent of households owed more than $62,000. About 850,000 loans are currently in default”), focusing on horror stories of “outliers” who don’t represent the norm. But women, lower-income homes, and minorities are being hit harder than other demographics. In addition, younger people (under age 45) are carrying 70 percent of the debt.

“Students of color tend to borrow more and to have higher unemployment rates, and they are less likely to graduate compared to white peers. For example, about 27 percent of African-American bachelor’s-degree recipients had debt of $30,500 or higher compared to 16 percent of their white peers, according to a 2010 study by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center,” the story reports.

Either way, for sheer humanity’s sake, this private loan should be forgiven. Let this poor woman grieve in peace.

*Update (12/4): Tom Joyner has offered to pay for this loan, reports RNBPhilly.com. (Thanks for the heads up to our Facebook friend EarthyGirls Trapp.)

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  • Pingback: Our Very Own Fly Jock Tom Joyner Agrees To Pay Student Loan Of Deceased Son Whose Mother Was Hounded By His Creditor | AM 1310: The Light

  • Pingback: Tom Joyner pledges to pay student loan of deceased son whose mother was hounded by his creditor | theGrio

  • http://www.facebook.com/jlysse1 Joseph Lysse

    Tom Joyner just payed off her debt.

  • Pingback: Tom Joyner Pays $10000 Student Loan On Behalf Of Grieving Mother |

  • WowReally

    Yes private student loans should be forgiven, just as government student loans are upon the death of a student (even ones that you cosign on as a parent). The loan was taken out for an education that he will never receive due to death, not cause he dropped out. Often we take out loans for things that we get (cars, homes, clothing via credit card). Yes, they are a business, but I don’t agree with their business practices.

    I can’t believe the insensitivity on this page. “Letting one person slide will open up the flood gates for others?” Really?! The boy DIED! I didn’t know dying was a sob story.

  • WowReally

    Yes private student loans should be forgiven, just as government student loans are upon the death of a student (even ones that you cosign on as a parent). The loan was taken out for an education that he will never receive due to death, not cause he dropped out. Often we take out loans for things that we get (cars, homes, clothing via credit card). Yes, they are a business, but I don’t agree with their business practices.

    I can’t believe the insensitivity on this page. “Letting one person slide will open up the flood gates for others?” Really?! The boy DIED! I didn’t know dying was a sob story.

  • Kaori

    You all can say that you will ‘pray’ for her and for ‘God’ to ‘bless’ her, but the reality is that this debt won’t be forgiven unless the administrators decided for it to be.

    • afroveda

      So what you’re saying is you don’t believe in intercessory prayer? That’s fine if you don’t, but you can’t knock someone who does either.

      • Kaori

        No, that is not what I was saying. I stated that the reality is that this debt won’t be forgiven unless the administrators decided for it be. But yes, I do not believe in prayer. Neither did I ‘knock’ anyone who does. My comment was not directed to any specific person.

  • greygoose125

    Her pain must be beyond belief regarding the loss of her child – however she co-signed a loan on his behalf and is now expected to be responsible for that loan. Don’t sign a document if you don’t understand the financial consequences involved.

  • http://twitter.com/buddiejames buddiejames

    God bless her, but I thought if I cosigned it is because I am supposed to pay if the other person doesnt. My spouse has medical bills, and if they shoulsd die, does that meaan I dont have to pay the bills ? Or the house, I dont have insurance if one of us dies, the other person still has to pay the housenote. She might want to ask for donations or hold a fundraiser. Unless I’m missing something.

  • ANTMilf

    I hope the Student Loans people can have a heart and throw this out. She’s suffering enough with the loss of her baby.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JAI4SRENU2A5WKRTELXXYJPDSI Kayla

    Hate to be mean, but a debt is a debt, that has to be paid. When running a business if you let one person slide, then that opens the floodgates for more people to come with their sob stories.

    • WowReally

      I didn’t know dying was a sob story.

  • FoundLove

    I feel for her but with a private loan pretty much free to do whatever they want. If they wanted to forgive the loan they could, they chose not because unfortunately the co-signer is still around. And not to play devils advocate, but lets say her son was still alive. Would she petioning to have the loan forgiven because he was not able to find a job and couldn’t make the payments, NO! I’m so sorry her son died but you signed a binding contract to repay.

    • Kaori

      Not being able to find a job and being dead don’t even compare.

  • bossladii

    God bless her. BUT, this is no different than any other loan a person would co sign on. The secondary signer becomes responsible if the primary does not pay(regardless of the reason). If the loan was solely in her son’s name then I am sure it would be a lot easier to forgive the loan or any other debt he may have had.

    • victoria

      I agree. If they do forgive her loan, the lender will simply recoup their money by increasing the interest or adding additional fees to other borrowers. Either way someone will have to pay. Can you imagine if all lenders forgave loans under these circumstances?

      • http://www.facebook.com/mina.bolden.1 Mina Bolden

        Please. The gov’t bailed these jokers out. They have way more money than us regular folks. They can afford to let this go. Their insurance’ll cover it. You guys are heartless.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mina.bolden.1 Mina Bolden

        Please. The gov’t bailed these jokers out. They have way more money than us regular folks. They can afford to let this go. Their insurance’ll cover it. You guys are heartless.

      • WowReally

        In business there is something called “bad debt.” It’s a write off. Fees on others doesn’t necessarily increase, nor does interest. The company just takes a loss. They make less profit, but they deal with it. Hospitals do it all the time.

    • Tamz

      Sad circumstances but I agree. I truly feel for the loss of her son however they are still a business. Maybe if she worked out a payment plan, it would be easier on her pockets. Praying everything works out in her favor.

  • Ladybug94

    God bless her, I really hope they will forgive the loans.

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