New Jersey’s Mafia-esque Student Loan Program (aka Loan Sharks)
Amid a haze of grief after her son’s murder last year, Marcia DeOliveira-Longinetti faced an endless list of tasks — helping the police access Kevin’s phone and email, canceling his subscriptions, credit cards and bank accounts, and arranging his burial in New Jersey. And then there were his college loans. When DeOliveira-Longinetti called about his federal loans, an administrator offered condolences and assured her the remaining balance would be written off. But she got a far different response from a New Jersey state agency that had also lent her son money.
“Please accept our condolences on your loss,” said a letter from the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to DeOliveira-Longinetti, who had co-signed the loans. “After careful consideration of the information you provided, the Authority has determined that your request does not meet the threshold for loan forgiveness. Monthly bill statements will continue to be sent to you.” DeOliveira-Longinetti was shocked and confused. After all, the agency features a photo of Governor Chris Christie on its website, and boasts in its brochures that its “singular focus has always been to benefit the students we serve.” But her experience with the authority, which runs by far the largest state-based student loan program in the country, is hardly an isolated one, an investigation by ProPublica, in collaboration with the New York Times, found.
I used to think Chris Christie was a pretty good guy. Alas, I was wrong. He’s a disgusting wretch just like every other politician.