ROHNERT PARK, Calif., Nov. 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Cancer is a devastating diagnosis. Though individuals are more likely to survive than they were in the 1990s, more than 1.7 million cases will be diagnosed in 2018. More than 600,000 will not survive. As patients deal with the sobering news and begin treatments to beat the disease, dealing with everyday responsibilities can be nearly impossible. A recent bipartisan congressional spending agreement included a student loan deferment option for individuals who are diagnosed with cancer. Patients can defer their monthly payments during their treatment and for six months after without accruing interest. Student loan debt is the last thing patients need to deal with when fighting cancer, according to Ameritech Financial, a document preparation company that helps borrowers overwhelmed with student loan debt apply for federal repayment programs.
"It is good to see bipartisan agreement on something we can all agree on — that patients need to focus on their health when facing cancer without the burden of worrying about their student loan debt," said Tom Knickerbocker, Executive Vice President of Ameritech Financial. "For many borrowers, struggling with student loan debt is an everyday concern. We help clients apply for and maintain enrollment in federal programs, such as income-driven repayment plans (IDRs). These can possibly reduce monthly payments based on income and family size, and leave room to deal with all of life's ups and downs."
This congressional bill is directed at younger borrowers, who hold the bulk of the $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. Though, increasingly, individuals in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, with much higher incidences of cancer, will also benefit since they hold student loan debt, as well. The details have yet to be worked out. The Department of Education (DOE) suggests continually checking in with its website. Currently, the DOE notes that there is a deferment available, but that borrowers will have to check in with their loan servicers until an assessment of the new law is made.
Unfortunately, illnesses other than cancer do not currently qualify for this deferment. Those borrowers might qualify for a hardship deferment or forbearance. Forbearance does include accrual of interest, while some deferments do not. Again, DOE advises that borrowers who need assistance during illness check the website and speak with their loan servicers. Private loans do not have the same protections as federal loans, and this includes illness. Private lenders often offer options for postponement, but balances will typically continue to grow. On the other hand, DOE does offer IDRs for those with federal loans, which base payments on income and family size and can reduce payments to as little as zero dollars per month.
"We are glad that cancer patients won't be facing overwhelming student loan debt along with their disease," said Knickerbocker. "We have potential solutions for those who are worn down by student loan debt and unable to keep up with their payments. We will be your advocates as you deal with your loan servicers, make sure all your paperwork is properly filed, and even keep you updated and work with you on your annual recertification going forward if you feel it is the best option. We have helped thousands of clients find some peace of mind and financial freedom so they can get on with their lives."
About Ameritech Financial
Ameritech Financial is a private company located in Rohnert Park, California. Ameritech Financial has already helped thousands of consumers with financial analysis and student loan document preparation to apply for federal student loan repayment programs offered through the Department of Education.
Each Ameritech Financial telephone representative has received the Certified Student Loan Professional certification through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).
Ameritech Financial prides itself on its exceptional Customer Service.
To learn more about Ameritech Financial, please contact:
5789 State Farm Drive #265
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
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SOURCE Ameritech Financial