Our friend wrote this sample letter for those of you out there who need inspiration for what to write to them. Write about your truth and write often.
I wanted to share this email I sent to Asm. Schaer and Jasey. Here is their original press release: http://www.assemblydems.com/Article.asp?ArticleID=12481
But, after reviewing HESAA's April Board Minutes--I find that is not at all the program they intend to offer.
Assemblyman Schaer & Assemblywoman Jasey,
In an April 20, 2017 Press Release, you boasted the following: The resolution HESAA passed creates an income-driven repayment option for borrowers under the New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students (NJCLASS) Loan Program. Beginning with borrowers who take out loans in the 2017-2018 academic year, individuals who cannot make the minimum payment on a student loan may pay 10 percent of disposal income over 150 percent of the federal poverty level ($18,090 for a single individual) for a maximum of two years. All such payments must be applied to the principal.
In response to your press release, I bring your attention to HESAA's April 19, 2017 board meeting minutes, which can be found here: http://www.hesaa.org/BoardMeetingMinutes/04.19.17HESAABoardMeetingMinutes.pdf I ask that you both read the sixth paragraph on page 5, wherein HESAA proffered the income driven repayment program will not be available to ALL borrowers since "all of the families who borrow have sufficient resources to take this loan so this plan is meant to help in the event of catastrophic changes in circumstances."
Your press release misleads prospective borrowers and their families into believing that ALL borrowers from 2017/2018 going forward can obtain an income driven repayment plan during the first two years of loan repayment, which is simply NOT the case and is not HESAA's intention. It is clear that you are not on the same page with HESAA, and since you reported false information, it is now your duty and obligation to report that this income driven repayment option implemented by HESAA will be available only to those certain borrowers who qualify under what HESAA considers to be "catastrophic changes in circumstances"--a term HESAA has conveniently failed to define.
Unfortunately, current NJCLASS borrowers were misled when HESAA falsely advertised that borrowers would have "flexible repayment options", only to learn after their loan(s) went into repayment that the "flexible repayment options" applied to the repayment program the borrower chose at the time they took our their loans, i.e. Option 1, 2 or 3. Your press release repeats HESAA's false advertising and will undoubtedly result in thousands more defaults after borrowers learn their approval into an income driven repayment plan will be based solely on a "catastrophic change in circumstance." I am quite sure HESAA will not consider a recent college grads unemployed or underemployed status as a "catastrophic" change in circumstance.
As stated in a recent letter to you both (to which I received no reply), I am clearly not happy with how either of you handled the current NJCLASS loan borrowers, especially after you stated,
"Unfortunately, we cannot go back in time and assist the many NJCLASS borrowers who already have had the agonizing experience of declaring bankruptcy or dealing with collection agencies, but HESAA now has taken action that will benefit borrowers going forward, which ultimately will benefit the entire state."
You caused many borrowers to feel they were not worth your time or were worthless. I, however, refuse to allow another family to go through what HESAA has and continues to put my family through. Should you fail to retract your press release and provide CORRECT information to the families of this State, then you will leave me with no other choice than to reach out to the many news outlet contacts I have and release this information to them myself. Because families STILL have an opportunity to cancel their NJCLASS loans and consider more viable and affordable student loan financing options, time is of the essence.
While I have lost all confidence in both of you, I do hope you will do right by the families of this State, sooner rather than later. Either way, the families of this State with college-bound students will be be provided with details of the actual program HESAA is offering, as opposed to the program you described them as offering.