Student loan forgiveness; couple’s $161,000 debt forgiven

The Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness program approved the couple’s application for loan forgiveness. The process had taken them over a decade.

A couple in Auburn, Alabama is celebrating student loan forgiveness totaling $161,000. Somer Givens and Trent Givens could not hide their joy when their application for loan forgiveness was approved. They had been paying these loans for over a decade with monthly deductions from their salaries ranging from $475 to $225.

It all started in July when Somer woke up one day to find out that all her student’s debts had been forgiven. She could not hide her joy, sending texts to family and friends and singing her way out of these debts. Trent joined her in the celebration and they felt like a huge load had been lifted off their shoulders.

A month later, Trent debts were also forgiven after numerous failed applications for loan forgiveness. He narrated how he could not hide his joy, waking up his family and friends to celebrate their new numbers, Zero, as in $0 in student debts.

Somer’s loans equaled $76,000 in July when it was forgiven while Trent’s loan was approximately $85,000 in July when they were forgiven. Somer, 41, is a research analyst in the student-affairs department at Auburn University while Trent, 39, is a high-school history teacher and softball coach in the Auburn City school system.

The couple had met in 2003 as graduate students at the University of Alabama. They would end up marrying two years later while their student’s debts were still undue. This, however, would change fast and the strain of repayment started crippling their love life.

They had not discussed or thought about ways they will repay their student loans. The loans posed a severe threat to their financial freedom. In 2007, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program was created. Trent saw this as an opportunity for their loan forgiveness but the more they tried the program, the more they became frustrated.

For over a decade, they had tried everything they could do to have their loans forgiven. This included writing letters to the Obama administration and their representatives. The response they got was not uplifting as they were told they needed to be on a certain income-based plan to qualify.

The couple’s path to loan forgiveness

Last year, however, things would change after Trent heard the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The program, however, required a rejection of loan forgiveness from the original Public Service Loan Forgiveness program before moving forward with the temporary loan forgiveness.

Trent, who had changed his jobs multiple times over the course of his career, had a lot of paperwork to file. He also notified his wife about this new loan forgiveness program and told her she would qualify since she was already working as a teacher.

Somer’s process of filing for paperwork took around 10 hours since she had not transferred to multiple jobs. Once they had done with the paperwork, they submitted to the office of the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and waited to see if this time, their loans would be forgiven.

These efforts paid off and in July and August, their loans were forgiven. They can now focus on their other financial engagements and plan their life with ease knowing that they no longer have any student debt to pay.