A few years ago, Betsy Mayotte stumbled upon the student loan subreddit—a section on Reddit where users ask each other questions about student loan debt. "I can't afford to pay. What should I do? I'm in default. What should I do? I'm trying to see if I qualify for forgiveness program, my servicer told me this, is this right?," Betsy remembers reading. "It took me aback that these borrowers—and a lot of them—were so desperate for help that they were willing to ask strangers on the internet that they had no idea what their credentials were."
At the time, Betsy was working at American Student Assistance, a non-profit guarantor for the federal student loan system. But after recognizing that borrowers desperately need advice about managing their student loans—and can't always turn to their loan servicers for reliable help—she left and started a non-profit called TISLA, or The Institute for Student Loan Advisors. In addition to advocating for student loan reform, she now spends much of her time answering individual borrowers' emailed questions. "I've had to make myself close down my email at night and not open it until I've done human being things in the morning, like take a shower," she laughs.
We also shared with Betsy some of the questions we received from you about student loan debt. Hear her take on whether Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is going away, how to track down all of your loans, and what to do if think you're being scammed.