You Can Do Everything Right and Still Get Screwed: Student Debt Forgiveness Gone Horribly Wrong.

“I don’t have any control over this process at all.”

Sezeryadigar/Herianus/Getty

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

On this week’s episode of the Mother Jones Podcast, the rage-inducing inside story of America’s student debt machine: how the nation’s flagship loan forgiveness program is failing the very people it’s meant to help. You’ll hear disturbing firsthand accounts of how the mismanaged Public Service Loan Forgiveness has left participants swimming in debt, even as they diligently keep abreast of new payments—stories that should be outliers, but turn out to be all too common.

“At this point, I’m kind of resigned to the fact that I don’t have any control over this process at all,” Leigh McIlvaine tells the Mother Jones Podcast. “I still owe $70,000 on my original $70,000 balance.” 

McIlvaine is one of the several debt-soaked workers that reporter Ryann Liebenthal interviewed for Mother Jones‘ latest magazine cover story. By the time she finds herself at the end of the forgiveness program, McIlvaine will have paid close to the original amount she borrowed. “Yet when we talk about her forgiveness,” explains Liebenthal, “it’ll sound like she got $70,000 of forgiveness—as though she kind of took the government for a ride.”

Listen below: 

Also on the show: DC Bureau Chief David Corn tries to make sense of that bizarre Roger Stone video on Instagram, where the former Trump adviser denies the president had any prior knowledge of the Wikileaks dump of Democratic emails. Stone says media outlets might be preparing to publish claims they overheard him giving a heads up to the President about Wikileaks’ actions. “If Roger Stone knew this, who else knew this?” Corn asks. “And was there any—here comes the word—collusion?” Corn also explains the implications of Paul Manafort—Trump’s former campaign chair who was recently found guilty of  tax and bank fraud—having reportedly discussed a plea deal before his second trial in mid September. 

You can listen to these conversations on the Mother Jones Podcast and subscribe using any of the following services:

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate