My son Ben borrowed approximately $156,875.00 in private and Federal student loans which has now grown to over $223,000.00 and is suffering severe psychological problems. He has major depression, major anxiety, anorexia and exercise bulimia and is now in very dangerous physical condition. The stress of this debt is affecting his health so badly that we are having difficulty finding medications that will lessen his symptoms. He was told the loan companies would work with him, which is completely untrue. We have had to change our phone number twice because they were calling 7 days a week from 8 am to 9 pm sometimes every hour which caused Ben to spiral downward. After graduating in 2008 with a Physics degree he started trying to find a job, but with the economy he could find nothing. As more and more time has gone by his health has worsened, and he is unable to work. At one point he was purging but then started eating very little and exercising to the point of exhaustion. Finally today he is 5’ 11” and 145 pounds. His muscles have become atrophied, and he looks skeletal. Our lives revolve around trying to get him to eat and not exercise too much. It is a struggle every day, every minute of every day.
He talks about killing himself because he feels there is no hope for him to have a normal life, buy a home, have a family or a successful career. He feels like a complete failure. Ben borrowed this money in good faith and fully intended to pay it back, but things have not worked out as he planned. Those who have racked up debt on any other debt can discharge in bankruptcy, but students who have borrowed to better themselves are sentenced to a lifetime of poverty. In order to recover Ben must get this debt discharged now!
Recently, Rep Hansen Clarke introduced H.R.4170: Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012. This bill would help my son, and I am asking my representative, John Carney to sign it.