Texas Student Loan Jailhouse Blues

Texas Student Loan Jailhouse Blues 

A recent national network news story about the jailing of a man in Texas for non-payment of his old student loans is, ironically, sending out the wrong message.

After viewing that national news flash, one would automatically think that non-payment of student loans can inevitably lead to law enforcement harassment and a jailhouse sentence.  Well, not so fast…

The network news story left out a crucial piece of information for all students facing the challenges of repaying their student loans–Student Loan

An information literacy news update –

In the majority of student loan default cases, if you neglect, avoid, and/or disregard repayment notifications, then you’re asking for harassment by debt collectors and/or, as in the Texas case, the possible intrusion of law enforcement tactics.  The Texas student loan borrower had ignored prior loan repayment notifications.

Best way to avoid experiencing a Texas like calamity:

·        If you borrowed a federal student loan, then the U.S. Office of Education has established a number of flexible repayment options to ease your burden during these volatile economic times. Check them out!

·        If you borrowed a student loan from a private source such a bank, you’ll find that their repayment options are not as flexible as the Federal government.  Always read the fine print.

·        If you run into any problems with your private lenders, then you can contact the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau* for assistance.


LoansThe key to successfully managing your student loan debt is not to ignore loan payment requests. Contact the lender directly if you encounter any unusual financial circumstances like unemployment. 

And, most importantly, document all conversations and contacts you have with your lender.  You may need that evidence one day if you have to institute legal proceedings.

Future Educational Funding Reminder: Always exhaust applying for federal loan resources first before applying for private loan assistance.

* The Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, signed into law in July 2010, created a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  The CFPB officially opened on July 21, 2011.  The agency has authority over most private student lenders.    The CFPB has a complaint system for borrowers experiencing problems with private student loans.