Wednesday, April 23 2014, 09:23 AM MDT
Big Hurdles for Teacher Who Earned Debt Relief
By Matt Gephardt
Produced by Michelle Poe
Edited by Aaron Colborn
Photography by Brian Morris
(KUTV) Paul Pontius teaches high school, but unlike many teachers, Paul qualifies to have his student loans paid down by the Federal government. It's a discount he earned while teaching at what's called a Title One school - meaning the school sits in a less wealthy community which sometimes means harder work for teachers.
Paul has earned a $5,000 write-off on his student loans but his loan holder, A.C.S. has repeatedly denied the application.
In the first denial, A.C.S. told Paul that the high school at which he taught was not "on the Title One list." It’s a fact that is simply not true. The school is clearly listed on the U.S. Department of Education's website as a Title One school.
Paul’s second application was denied because A.C.S. told him that he had filled out an expired application. It’s an error that was not Paul’s fault. In fact twice now, A.C.S. has sent Paul an already expired application to fill out.
When Paul finally did get a not-already-expired application, it too was denied because he dated it “11/26/12” rather writing out the full four digits for the year, 2012.
Frustrated with A.C.S. jerking him around, Paul decided to Get Gephardt and this time, we called A.C.S. on Paul’s behalf. A spokesperson denied an on camera interview but did promise to investigate. And just like that, Paul’s frustration is over.
Immediately after our call, Paul’s application was expedited by A.C.S. and $5,000 was applied to his student loan balance.
A.C.S. said that they process 5 million consumer loans and 11 million Federal loans a year and that they strive for accuracy. A.C.S. also said that when mistakes are made the company takes the appropriate steps to fix them, which is what they say they did in Paul’s situation.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)